Wearing Eyeglasses May Help Protect Against COVID-19, New Study Suggests

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Research revealed that the risk of COVID-19 was two to three times less likely for those who wear glasses in contracting the virus, in contrast to those who don't wear spectacles.

People who wear eyeglasses may be two to three times less likely to get infected with COVID-19 versus those who do not wear glasses, according to a new study.

A team of Indian researchers studied 304 patients whose glasses-wearing habits were examined through a questionnaire and compared those with existing studies of the general population, according to medRxiv, a publication that reports on new medical research that has not yet been peer-reviewed.

The study was compromised of a total of 58 people, who wore glasses all day and during their outdoor activities. Amit Kumar Saxena, the author of the report, said the research revealed that the risk of contracting COVID-19 was two to three times less likely in those who wear glasses, compared to those who do not wear eyeglasses. He also said the nasolacrimal duct, which drains tear fluid from the surface of the eye into the nose, may be a route of virus transmission.

The findings were “significant” to researchers.

Studies have shown that wearing a mask does help in protection against the virus by covering the nose and mouth, but a mask does not protect the eyes from the virus.

“People touch their face on average 23 times an hour and the eyes on average three times per hour,” according to the study. 

Wearing eyeglasses regularly does prevent people from frequent touching and rubbing of their eyes, experts say.