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Do glasses offer protection against COVID-19?

WEDNESDAY, September 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Glasses prevent you from stumbling over footstools and going into walls, but they can also have a side benefit to trigger envy among those with 20/20 vision.

People who wear glasses every day may be less susceptible to COVID-19 infection, a Chinese study reports.

Only about 6% of 276 patients admitted due to COVID-19 at Suizhou Zengdu Hospital in China needed glasses daily due to their myopia. But the proportion of nearsighted people in Hubei province, where the hospital is located, is much higher – about 32% according to the study.

Glasses can foil COVID-1

9 infection because they “prevent or deter wearers from touching their eyes and thus avoid transmitting the virus from their hands to their eyes,” speculated Dr. Yiping Wei from the other affiliated hospital at Nanchang University and colleagues.

Eye protection can also potentially reduce the risk of virus-laden airborne droplets coming into contact with the eyes, the study authors said in the report published online on September 16 JAMA Ophthalmology.

However, spectacle wearers receiving COVID-19 became as ill as those with normal vision, the results showed.

“While this is an observational study and you can not deduce anything definitive from this, there is a suggestion that eye protection of any kind may reduce your risk of becoming infected,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Baltimore.

“This needs to be confirmed with other observational studies and more formal studies of, for example, the use of face shields. However, it is increasingly being noted that eye protection is important,” Adalja added.

Many hospitals – including Mount Sinai South Nassau in Oceanside, NY – require doctors, nurses and visitors to wear goggles or a face shield along with a mask to fully protect them from SARS-CoV-2, said Dr. Aaron Glatt, President of Medicine and Chief Epidemiologist.

“Because we make it a mandate, people often ask, ‘If I wear glasses, is that good enough?’ And our answer is no, ”said Glatt.

Ordinary prescription glasses do not completely cover the eyes, as do goggles or face shields, he noted.

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