Glasses wearers got an unlikely boost on February 20 as a new study revealed that they are up to three times less likely to be infected with COVID-19. According to the study, published on the website medRxiv, Indian-based researchers noted that touching the face, nose, mouth, and eyes after coming into contact with the virus could lead to infection. But they added that people who wear glasses rub their eyes less, therefore, becoming less likely to catch the virus.
Eyes are a susceptible portal for viral entry with tear ducts able to transport COVID into the nasal cavity. The researchers said repeated touching and rubbing of the eyes with contaminated hands may be a “significant route” of transmission. However, after studying 304 people in a northern Indian hospital over the course of two weeks last summer, the researchers said people who wear glasses rub their eyes less which makes them two to three times less likely of being infected.
According to the study, the researchers studied 223 males and 81 females between August 26 and September 8. They all were aged between 10 and 80 and all reported COVID-19 symptoms. The study said that the participants filled out questionnaires about their vision and glasses-wearing habits. Around 19 per cent reported wearing glasses most of the time.
The study stated, “An individual has the habit of touching his own face on average 23 times in an hour and his eyes on average three times per hour. The present study showed that the risk of Covid-19 was about two to three times less in spectacles wearing population than the population not wearing those”.
The researchers said that those who wear glasses for more than eight hours a day were least likely to catch the deadly virus. They said that the long-term use of spectacles may prevent repeated touching and rubbing of the eyes, and it may also prevent being infected with the coronavirus.