Daily eyeglass wearers may be less likely to be infected with COVID-19
In a cohort of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Suizhou, China, the proportion of those infected who were daily eyeglass wearers was lower than the general population.
“At present, people pay more attention to wearing masks and home isolation and may not pay enough attention to frequent hand washing and avoiding hand-eye touch. Our research confirms the importance of hand washing and to avoid hands touching eyes in preventing COVID-19,” study co-author Yiping Wei, MD, PhD, told Healio/OSN.
Two hundred seventy-six patients with COVID-19 were enrolled in the cohort study. Researchers evaluated the proportions of patients with eyeglasses who wore them daily for more than 8 hours. Thirty patients (10.9%) wore eyeglasses, which included 16 cases of myopia and 14 cases of presbyopia. None of the patients in the study had underwent refractive surgery or wore contact lenses. The 16 patients who wore their glasses for more than 8 hours a day had myopia, accounting for 5.8% of patients in the cohort.
Previous research found that the mean rate of myopia in Hubei province, where Suizhou is located, was 31.5%, higher than the 5.8% found in the current study.
Eyeglasses may prevent people from touching their eyes, as studies have shown people involuntarily touch their eyes nearly 10 times per hour. This may avoid transferring the virus from the hands to the eyes, the authors wrote.
“For daily wearers of eyeglasses, who usually wear eyeglasses on social occasions, wearing eyeglasses may become a protective factor, reducing the risk of virus transfer to the eyes and leading to long-term daily wearers of eyeglasses being rarely infected with COVID-19,” they wrote.