The symptoms of dry eye disease (DED), which affects an estimated 30% of Canadians, include irritated eyes and blurry vision. People who use extended-wear contact lenses may also experience similar symptoms.
Master’s student Asiya Jabeen, supervised by Dr. Lyndon Jones, is studying proteins in tear film called neuropeptides, which, among other functions, help to control and heal inflammation in the eye. Her research will measure the normal levels of these neuropeptides in healthy people who don’t wear contact lenses and compare these with contact lens wearers and individuals with DED.
The results of this study will help researchers better understand the role of tear film neuropeptides in the symptoms experienced by both contact lens wearers and DED patients; it could also potentially lead to new treatments for contact lens discomfort and DED.
This year, the Canadian Optometric Education Trust Fund (COETF) awarded funding to 13 research projects conducted by faculty and graduate students at the School of Optometry & Vision Science. This article is part of a series that highlights some of these projects.