Good news, eyeglass wearers: Your glasses may offer you additional protection against the new coronavirus, according to the findings of a new study.
In a report published earlier this month on the preprint site medRxiv, the researchers said that those who wear glasses at least eight hours during the day are less likely to contract the new disease because they touch their eyes less often than those who they don’t use them. glasses.
COVID-19 is mainly transmitted when a sick person coughs, sneezes, or even talks, and infectious particles pose a risk to healthy people if they inhale those infectious particles (hence the importance of wearing masks and measures of social distancing). However, the virus can also spread through the membranes that protect the eyes, that is, the conjunctiva.
In fact, “touching and rubbing your eyes with contaminated hands may be a major route of infection for the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” the researchers wrote.
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For the study, the researchers surveyed just over 300 people who were hospitalized due to COVID-19 in India. The patients, aged between 10 and 80, were asked about their glasses wearing habits. About 60 patients were identified as “long-time eyeglass wearers,” according to the report.
In the end, the researchers concluded that those who wear glasses were two to three less likely to get COVID-19 compared to those who don’t wear glasses.
“This current study showed that the risk of COVID-19 was 2-3 times lower in the population that wears glasses than in the population that does not wear glasses. [The] The protective role of glasses was found statistically significant if they were used to [a] long period of the day, “or more than eight hours, they concluded.
The findings reinforce previous research on this topic. In a study published in JAMA Ophthalmology in September, for example, Chinese researchers also found that those who wear glasses for long daily periods may be less susceptible to COVID-19.
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“According to reports published in recent years, the prevalence of myopia [or nearsightedness] in China it is now more than 80% of the population, “wrote the study authors at the time.” Wearing glasses is common among Chinese of all ages. However, since the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan in December 2019, we have seen that few patients with glasses were admitted to the hospital ward. “
Kayla Rivas of Fox News contributed to this report.