More than 150 participants from 37 countries are beginning work on the latest Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) workshop, A Lifestyle Epidemic: Ocular Surface Disease. The workshop will be led by a steering committee comprising executive members, Professors Jennifer Craig (chair, New Zealand) and Monica Alves (vice-chair, Brazil), Dr David Sullivan (TFOS founder and workshop organiser) and Amy Gallant Sullivan (TFOS executive director), along with Professor Mark Willcox (Australia) and subcommittee chairs:
- Digital environment – Prof James Wolffsohn (UK)
- Cosmetics – Dr David Sullivan (USA)
- Nutrition – Dr Maria Markoulli (Australia)
- Elective medications and procedures – A/Prof José Gomes (Brazil)
- Environmental conditions – Prof Monica Alves (Brazil)
- Lifestyle challenges – A/Prof Anat Galor (USA)
- Contact lens wear – Prof Lyndon Jones (Canada)
- Societal challenges – Prof Fiona Stapleton (Australia)
- Public awareness – Dr Christopher Starr (USA)
- Industry Liaison – Amy Gallant Sullivan (UK)
- Evidence Quality – A/Prof Laura Downie (Australia)
"The world around us has changed unbelievably and our behaviours reflect that transformation,” said Amy Gallant Sullivan, TFOS executive director on announcing the new workshop earlier this year. “Today, for example, tens of millions of people are at home, managing excessive screen-time… due to Covid-19. The new workshop will focus on how eye problems are increasingly linked to our lifestyle choices, what we do to ourselves, from technology use to our beauty routines to what we eat and where we live."
“The study of ocular surface disease has evolved dramatically in the last few years and TFOS has played an instrumental role in this transformation," said Prof Craig, head of the Ocular Surface Laboratory at the University of Auckland. "TFOS workshops play a critical role in consolidating and translating published science and literature while inspiring future research by identifying the gaps and unmet needs."
“The implications for compromising one’s vision and overall quality of life are tremendous, and youth today are also at risk," said Prof Alves from the University of Campinas. "This could be far better managed with support from the scientific community and preventative measures."
To date, the subcommittees have met and drawn up report outlines, with literature- searching and report-writing due to follow in the next few months, said Prof Craig. The final report should be published in late 2022.