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A round-up of the eye related hot topics that have been trending on social media over the last few weeks.


#frightnight #halloween #protectyoureyes

The Royal College of Optometrists advised the public against wearing novelty contact lenses this Halloween. In a survey, 63% of the public planning to dress up were also planning on wearing cosmetic contact lenses, but 27% of these would not buy them from an optometrist. It is currently illegal in the UK to sell contact lenses without a prescription or without supervision of a registered optometrist or doctor [1]. The College is concerned that people may not know how to care for their contact lenses, which may result in permanent damage to their eyes [1].

They advise that if you are intending on wearing contact lenses for Halloween:

  • Ensure that they fit properly (ask your local optometrist).
  • Ask for advice on how to clean your contact lenses if you plan to re-wear them.
  • Ensure your contact lenses are within the expiry date.
  • Do not share your contact lenses.
    Do not drive with your contact lenses.
  • If you have any pain after wearing the contact lenses, visit your optometrist for advice without delay [1].


A California ophthalmologist posted photos and a video on her Instagram page demonstrating the removal of 23 contact lenses from a woman’s eye [2]. It is hard to look away from seeing the individual lenses coaxed out of the superior fornix. I couldn’t help but notice the strip of upper lash false lashes that weren’t quite glued at the ends. She is not the world-record holder for how many contact lenses can be scurried away in an eye. That title goes to a British woman with 27 lenses found in her eye when she was being prepped for cataract surgery [3,4]. We would not recommend trying to beat this feat, as it would put the eye at risk for a serious infection, which could lead to vision loss. 

#Acanthamoebakeratitis #contactlens 

To reiterate the importance of proper contact lens hygiene and practices, Marie Mason required left eye removal after contracting an Acanthamoeba keratitis while wearing her contact lens in the shower. She regularly showered without removing her contact lenses, and in 2015 started to notice a gritty sensation in her eye and pain which would not go away. At hospital she was diagnosed with Acanthamoeba keratitis, and was treated over the years with various medications and three cornea transplants. Unfortunately, all were unsuccessful, resulting in eye removal [5].

#blindmansavespartnerslife #CPR

This is an astonishing feel good story. Adam D’Arcy has retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited disorder that leads to blindness. He is registered blind and depends on his partner and carer Sharon Cooper. One mundane Saturday morning, Sharon suddenly collapsed and lost consciousness. While on the phone to 999, the call handler who assessed the situation advised Adam to begin CPR under his verbal direction. Adam was a former chef and sales worker and had never undergone CPR training before. He quickly focused his mind and efforts, despite not being able to see Sharon’s chest clearly to find the appropriate landmarks when the call handler told him “Adam if you don’t do this, there will be no more Sharon” [6]. His CPR brought Sharon back to life and she was transferred to Leeds General Infirmary for further treatment. She is extremely fortunate, as less than one in 10 people with an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survive [7]. This proves the adage ‘mind over matter’!

#AI #retina #predictsheartdiseaserisk

This study by Rudnicka AR, et al. made headlines, and it’s easy to see why. The idea that your risk of cardiovascular disease, including that of a stroke or heart attack, could be predicted in less than a minute with a simple photo of the back of the eye is rather appealing, as it is non-invasive and could be done outside of a clinic setting. Imagine turning up to your local chemist or supermarket and leaving with your dinner for two and a check-up on your heart status. The researchers developed QUARTZ, a fully automated artificial intelligence-enabled system, for examining the retinal vasculature to assess cardiovascular risk. They tested it in two cohort populations, UK Biobank and EPIC-Norfolk. They found that for incident (newly diagnosed) stroke and heart attack, one of the QUARTZ retinal vasculometry prediction models was equal to or better than the Framingham Risk Score, a widely used prediction model to calculate the 10-year risk of developing cardiovascular disease [8,9].

However, and editorial published alongside this study posed questions that remain about how this technology could be integrated into clinical care. For example, cardiovascular risk factors are normally managed by a patient’s GP or medical doctor, not by the ophthalmologist. Who then would have the responsibility for acting on the findings of increased cardiovascular risk? Mordi and Trucco raise further insightful points in their editorial on the matter [10].

#nursery #nailglue

Jack Culverhouse, a toddler from North Yorkshire, had his eye glued shut while at nursery. The nursery worker holding Jack was trying to glue on her artificial nails when the glue squirted into his eye. An investigation was carried out by the nursery, and the appropriate action taken. Thankfully, Jack has since fully recovered from the incident [11].

#realisticeyeball #nailart

From press-on nails to hyperrealism. Betina Goldstein is a CHANEL nail artist, and posted a video of her realistic eyeball nail art. This you must see to believe [12]. She sculpted the eyeball on her thumb using gel nail varnish in different shades of beige, then painted a realistic looking iris complete with a caruncle and realistic lateral and medial canthal angles, all topped off with a set of individual false lashes [13]. Happy Halloween!









8. Rudnicka AR, Welikala R, Barman S, et al. Artificial intelligence-enabled retinal vasculometry for prediction of circulatory mortality, myocardial infarction and stroke. Br J Ophthalmol. 2022 Epub ahead of print.

10. Mordi I, Trucco E. The eyes as a window to the heart: looking beyond the horizon. Br J Ophthalmol. 2022 Epub ahead of print.


[All links last accessed October 2022].





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Isadora Giles

Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, Rotherham, UK.

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Stephanie Chiu

Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK.

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