Glasses wearers are up to three times less likely to catch Covid-19, study finds – Telegraph.co.uk

Glasses wearers are up to three times less likely to catch Covid-19, a study has found.

Touching the face, nose, mouth and eyes after coming into contact with the virus could lead to infection, but people who wear glasses rub their eyes less, according to researchers in India.

They estimate this makes them two to three times less likely of being infected, as “repeated touching and rubbing of the eyes” with contaminated hands may be a “significant route” of transmission.

The researchers studied 304 people (223 male, 81 female) in a hospital in northern India between August 26 and September 8.  They were aged between 10 and 80 and all reported Covid-19 symptoms.

The participants filled out questionnaires about their vision and glasses-wearing habits. Some 19 per cent reported wearing glasses most of the time.

“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 study states.

“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 tear ducts could be the route of  transmission of the virus, carrying it into the nasal cavity.

They said those who wear glasses for more than eight hours a day were least likely to catch the virus.

“Touching and rubbing of the eyes with contaminated hands may be a significant route of infection,” the study states.

“Long term use of spectacles may prevent repeated touching and rubbing of the eyes.”

The study, yet to be peer reviewed, is published on the website medRxiv.