Research Title: Ocular surface in children
Background: The use of smartphone is rising rapidly globally. Recent data show that 95% of US teenagers and 68% of Australian children own or have access to a smartphone and most exceed the daily recommended screen time guidelines set by World Health Organisation, WHO. Chronic use of digital devices can induce ocular symptoms (including chronic pain), cause visual fatigue, adversely impact blinking, disrupt the tear film and cause dry eye. This threat to ocular surface health is not well studied in children, and the ocular surface in children is not well characterised. Only a handful of studies have measured ocular symptoms in children and although children appear to report less symptoms of dry eye in comparison to adults, this may be due to poor understanding and use of dry eye questionnaires which have been developed for use in adults
Aim: To characterise ocular surface of children including blinking, and to examine the impact of smartphone use on the ocular surface homeostasis in children.
Methods: This research aim will be explored in four individual/parallel studies. Study 1 focused on a systematic review and meta-analysis to characterise ocular surface homeostasis (symptoms, tear film, ocular surface, blinking) in children. Study 2 (cross-sectional, n=60) will validate five dry eye symptom questionnaires (Dry Eye Questionnaire 5 (DEQ-5), Symptoms Assessment in Dry Eye (SANDE), Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), Instant Ocular Symptom Survey (IOSS), and Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) to determine the feasibility of use and reliability in children aged 6-15 years. Study 3 (n=20) will explore real time blinking (using wearable eye tracking headset) under stimulated habitual patterns of smartphone use and other visual and non-visual conditions (reading, conversation, walking). Study 4 (interventional, n=45) will examine the impact of smartphone use on ocular surface homeostasis (symptoms, tear film, ocular surface, blink parameters) in children.
The outcome of this research will shed light on blink dynamics, the effects of smartphone on eyes of children and help develop reliable assessment tools to diagnose dry eye symptoms among children. The findings of this research will inform evidence-based guidelines to eye care practitioners on safe screen time for eye health. Parents, guardians and teachers will be better informed on the safe screen time for children.
Ngozi is an optometrist and has practiced as a clinical Optometrist/Lecturer in Nigeria. She is a PhD candidate and postgraduate teaching fellow at SOVS, UNSW. Ngozi’s passion for teaching and research, especially in anterior eye and public health optometry, prompted her to obtain a Master of Public Health and fellowship in cornea and contact lenses at Unilorin, Nigeria and Nigerian College of Optometrists, respectively. Ngozi is currently completing the second year of her PhD on her research interest Ocular surface in children. She has been awarded two conference travel grants thus far and published a paper in the highest-ranking original research journal in ophthalmology. She is one of the pioneer PhD champions of Women in Maths and Science, UNSW and volunteers in various STEM programs at UNSW.
Fellowship in Cornea and Contact Lenses 2019, Nigerian College of Optometrists, Affiliated to Abia State University, Abia
PhD in Optometry 2017 - Present, School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW Sydney
Master of Public Health (MPH) 2015, Epidemiology and Community Health Department, University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.
Doctor of Optometry (OD) 2006 Optometry Department, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
- Golebiowski B, Asper L, Harrison K, Lee A, Chidi-Egboka N, Long J. (2019). Smartphone use and effects on tear film, blinking and binocular vision. Under review.
- Chidi-Egboka NC, Golebiowski B, Lee S-Y, Vi M, Jalbert I. Contact lens discomfort in children: Is this a looming epidemic and will we be able to measure it? 20th Scientific Meeting of the International Society for Contact Lens Research, Singapore, 2019.
- Chidi-Egboka NC, Briggs NE, Jalbert I, Golebiowski B. The ocular surface in children: A review of current knowledge and meta-analysis of tear film stability and tear secretion in children. Ocul Surf. 2019 Jan;17(1):28-39. doi: 10.1016/j.jtos.2018.09.006. Epub 2018 Sep 30. Review. PubMed PMID: 30282048.
- Chidi-Egboka NC, Briggs NE, Jalbert I, Golebiowski B. Tear film stability and tear secretion in normal children and infants: A meta-analysis. Scientific and Educators Meeting in Optometry (SEMO), Melbourne, 2018.
- Egbeahie SE, Idu FK, Chidi-Egboka NC. Effect of Combined Intake of Garcinia Kola and Ascorbic Acid on Intraocular Pressure of Normotensive Nigerians. JNOA. 2018; 20(1):20-29.
- Chidi-Egboka NC. The Ocular Surface in Children: A Review of Current Knowledge and Meta-Analysis of Tear Film Stability and Tear Secretion in Children. [revised 2018 October]. Eye Care_Practice Update; 2018. Available from: https://www.practiceupdate.com/content/analyzing-tear-film-stability-and-tear-secretion-in-children/74855/65/5/1.
- Chidi-Egboka NC, Bolarinwa OA, Awoyemi AO, Patrick C. Eye care practices among commercial drivers in a developing country. Research Journal of Health Sciences. 2017; 5(2):82-93.
- Chidi-Egboka NC, Bolarinwa OA, Awoyemi AO. Photostress Recovery Time among Commercial drivers in Nigeria.Tropical Journal of Health Sciences. 2016; 23:20-27.
Travel award for presentation, Scientific and Educators Meeting in Optometry (SEMO), Melbourne, April 2018.
Travel award for presentation at the 20th Scientific Meeting of the International Society for Contact Lens Research (ISCLR), Singapore, August 2019.
Mentee Award, Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS), Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, July 2018.
Ambassador for Women in Maths and Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, August 2018.
20th Scientific Meeting of the International Society for Contact Lens Research (ISCLR), Singapore August 2019 (yet to attend)
Scientific and Educators Meeting in Optometry (SEMO), Melbourne April 2018
Annual Nigerian Optometric Association AGM/Annual Conferences 2011 - 2016
World Ophthalmology Congress, WOC 2014, April 2 – 5, Tokyo, Japan
World Ophthalmology Congress 2012, February 16 – 20, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
AFFILIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS
Member American Academy of Optometrists (Candidate for fellowship).
Student member, Australia’s Biotechnology Organisation, AusBiotech.
Member, Nigerian Optometric Association.
Member, Faculty of Cornea and Contact Lenses, Nigerian College of Optometrists.