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22 Feb, 2021 17:36

Mandatory glasses next? Spectacles-wearers TWO to THREE times less likely to get Covid-19, study suggests

Mandatory glasses next? Spectacles-wearers TWO to THREE times less likely to get Covid-19, study suggests

Research from India has indicated that people wearing glasses are far less likely to become infected with Covid-19 than those without, which appears to support health advice to wear spectacles instead of contact lenses.

Covid-19 can spread in many different ways, and one of those is through germs being spread to the eyes due to touching or rubbing. According to the new study, published at medRxiv.com and not peer-reviewed, people who wear glasses touch their eyes far less and are therefore less likely to spread the virus in this way.

Researchers found that, on average, people touch their face 23 times an hour and their eyes three times an hour. Health officials have advised those wearing contact lenses to switch to glasses during the Covid-19 pandemic to avoid potentially spreading the virus through such constant touching. 

In the study of 304 adults aged between 10 and 80, two-thirds of them male, 19 percent said they wore glasses. The researchers found this group were two to three times less likely to contract the virus. 

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“Long-term use of spectacles may prevent repeated touching and rubbing of the eyes,” the report said, citing the eyes as possibly a “significant route of infection.”

A similar study conducted in China and released last fall theorized that people who are infected with Covid-19 are five times less likely to wear glasses. 

“Our main finding was that patients with Covid-19 who wear eyeglasses for an extended period every day were relatively uncommon, which could be preliminary evidence that daily wearers of eyeglasses are less susceptible to Covid-19,” researchers from the Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University concluded, after noticing the trend among patients. 

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