Wearing glasses daily can reduce the risk of getting the new coronavirus, a new study suggests.
Researchers from China found that COVID-19 patients were five times less likely to be affected than the general population.
The team from the other affiliated hospital at Nanchang University say they believe this is because ACE-2 receptors, which the virus adheres to to enter and infect human cells, can be found in the eyes.
The results also provide more evidence as to why healthcare professionals should wear eye protection and why more attention should be focused on preventative measures, such as frequently washing their hands and avoiding touching their face.
A new study found that 5.8% of nearly 300 coronavirus patients wore glasses eight hours a day for myopia compared to 31.5% of the population in Hubei province. The picture: A man wearing an American and Puerto Rico flag mask in New York City, September 2020
This indicates that people who carry frames are approximately five times less likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than the general population. The image: A healthcare professional tends to a patient in the COVID-19 unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, July 2020
For the study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, the team examined 276 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 between January 27 and March 13.
Thirty patients wore glasses (10.9 percent), including 16 cases of myopia and 14 cases of farsightedness.
None of those diagnosed with the virus wore contact lenses or had undergone refractive surgery to correct their vision.
A total of 16 patients, all of whom were myopic, were long-term, defined as wearing glasses for more than eight hours a day and accounting for 5.8 percent.
For the general population, researchers looked at the study decades ago from students aged seven to 22 in Hubei province, 31.5 percent of whom wore glasses for myopia.
At the time of publication, these students would be between 42 and 57 years old, close to the median age of 31 for COVID-19 patients.
This means that the general population is 5.4 times more likely to wear glasses daily than those diagnosed with coronavirus.
‘Our main finding was that patients with COVID-19 who wear glasses for an extended period of time each day were relatively uncommon, which could be preliminary evidence that daily wearers of glasses are less susceptible to COVID-19,’ the authors wrote .
The researchers believe that frames ‘prevent or deter carriers from touching their eyes and thus avoid transmitting the virus from their hands to their eyes.’
Recent studies have found that the eyes produce ACE-2, making the organs the primary target of the virus.
Coronavirus is not only found on the surface of the eyes but also within tears that would transmit the pathogen.
This may explain why up to 12 percent of patients with COVID-19 have so-called ‘ocular manifestations’, such as redness and swelling.
‘Therefore, the eyes are considered an important channel for SARS-CoV-2 to enter the human body,’ the authors wrote.
‘For daily use of spectacles that normally wear spectacles on social occasions, the use of spectacles can become a protective factor, reducing the risk of virus transmission to the eyes and leading to prolonged daily wearing of spectacles rarely being infected with COVID-19. ”
In an invited comment, Dr. said. Lisa Maragakis, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says people should not wear glasses if they do not need them.
‘While it is tempting to conclude from this study that everyone should wear goggles, goggles or a face shield in public to protect their eyes and themselves from COVID-19, from an epidemiological perspective, we must be careful not to infer a causal relationship from a single observational study, ‘she wrote.