And Dr. Maragakis noted that any number of factors can confuse the data, and it may be that wearing glasses is associated with any other variable that affects risk for Kovid-19. For example, it may be that people who wear glasses are older, and are more likely to stay indoors during viral outbreaks than those who do not wear glasses. Or perhaps people who put on glasses are less likely to contract the virus for other reasons, such as having a means of living in less crowded places.
“It’s a study,” Dr. Maragakis said. “This is some biological feasibility, given that in health care facilities, we use eye protection,” such as face shields or goggles. “But what remains to be investigated is whether a public setting will add any protection above and beyond eye protection masks and physical disturbances. I think it is still not clear. “
Health care workers wear protective equipment above their eyes, which can protect them from coughing and sneezing, as well as aerosolized particles that form when patients undergo medical procedures, such as intubation. But for the vast majority of people, additional levels of protection are not required if a person is wearing a mask and maintains physical distance in public places. There is also the possibility of taking risks by putting on glasses – some people can touch their face more when they put on glasses, rather than less, dr. Maragakis.
Having said that, further studies are needed to see if the trend is in other study populations, Drs. Thomas Steinman is a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a professor of ophthalmology at Metrohealthics Medical Center in Cleveland.
“I think it’s provocative, and it’s extremely interesting,” Dr. Steinman said.
But Dr. Steinman said the study should not worry about people who do not wear glasses. “It probably can’t hurt to wear glasses, but does everyone need to do that?” Probably not, ”he said. “I think you have to consider the practicality of wearing eye protection or face shield. People in some occupations, first responders, people caring for someone, people getting sick, are people who probably should take special notice. “
The findings also raise interesting questions about how often the eyes can be the entry portal for the virus. It has long been established that viruses and other germs can enter the body through mucous membranes in the face, eyes, and mouth. But the nose seems to be a main entry point for the coronavirus, as it has a high number of receptors that create a favorable environment in which the virus can replicate and move the respiratory tract.
But doctors are seeing a small percentage of patients with eye symptoms, including conjunctivitis or pink eye, suggesting that the virus may also enter the body through the eye. Although eye symptoms are less common than other symptoms such as cough or fever, various studies have reported that eye complaints can be a sign of Kovid-19 infection.
Last month, researchers reported a study of 216 children hospitalized with Kovid-19 in Wuhan. In those patients, 49 children or about 23 percent of the cases had ocular symptoms, including conjunctival secretions, eye rubbing and conjunctival convection. In addition to the pink eye, itchy eyes, excessive tearing, blurred vision, and some feel as described in the eyes by patients with Kovid-19.