A new study has revealed that people who wear glasses are up to three times less likely to catch novel Coronavirus infections. It was found that the eye protection was "statistically significant" to fight against the SARS-CoV-2 caused disease, COVID-19.
The study, which was also conducted in India, showed that poor and uneducated people were more likely to contract the novel Coronavirus. According to the research, this was because "they do not follow the preventive guidelines properly" and useless spectacles than the educated people.
Spectacles and COVID-19
The research head, Amit Kumar Saxena, said the new study showed that the risk of COVID-19 was two to three times less in spectacles wearing population while compared to those who do not wear glasses.
"Protective role of the spectacles was found statistically significant if those were used for a long period of the day. Touching and rubbing of the eyes with contaminated hands may be a significant route of infection," added Saxena.
During the study, it was also found that people touch their face on average 23 times in an hour and the eyes three times per hour. "Transmission occurs by touching the face, nose, mouth and eyes. Touching one's nose and mouth is significantly reduced when wearing a face mask properly. But wearing a face mask does not protect the eyes," said the study.
The COVID-19 Research
The study, which was published in medRxiv, included 304 Coronavirus patients. Their glasses-wearing behavior was assessed through a questionnaire. The answers were compared with existing studies of the general population.
As per the findings of the study, a total of 58 patients showed the behavior of using glasses continuously during the daytime and always on outdoor activities. The risk of Coronavirus infection was found 0.48 in spectacles wearing population as compared to 1.35 in the population not using them.
"The calculated risk ratio was 0.36. The protective effects of the spectacles were found statistically significant," said the study.
However, based on the findings it would be ideal for the healthcare workers to use face shields and wear goggles to protect their eyes while treating a COVID-19 patient. Scientists also said that wearing glasses does not protect the eyes as much as googles but it could provide some sort of protection.