Fact or Fiction: Can Eyeglasses act as a shield against COVID-19?

Fact or Fiction: Can Eyeglasses act as a shield against COVID-19?

Did you know a recent study published in the monthly medical journal, JAMA Ophthalmology suggested that people who wear glasses may be less likely to get infected with COVID-19? Wonder if there's any truth in that? Read on to know more!

The study that came out in September this year explored the relationship between eyewear and the pandemic  via a research on a total of  276 patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Suizhou, China at a time when the Pandemic was in its infancy. The study revealed that very few out of those 276 patients who tested positive wore glasses for more than 8 hours. What’s interesting is how despite being a country with nearly 80% people affected by myopia, the number of glass wearers affected by the COVID-19 virus was relatively low. 

While this observation may seem like a blessing in disguise for those with eyesight issues, the truth is that the study does not offer sufficient evidence, data or design. Many researchers & experts assert that the number of people examined is too narrow and the findings too bleak to draw any insightful conclusions from.

Glasses may act as a protective barrier for bespectacled folks & may discourage eye rubbing, traditional glasses cannot offer satisfactory protection against the infection owing to the gaps around the spectacles leaving the eyes vulnerable to virus infected droplets.

The reality, therefore, is that eyewear, be it prescription or sunglasses, are not potent PPE (personal protective equipment) to help reduce the risk of contracting the virus. So, it is better to stick to proven precautionary measures like wearing masks, washing hands, not touching the face and practicing  social distancing to keep the risk of the disease at bay.

While wearing glasses may not exclusively protect one from the disease, washing the glasses with soap & warm water instead may be a step in the right direction.

By: Anubha Hatwal | on 2020-10-21

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