COVID and Eye Glasses; Should one Wear Glasses in order to Prevent
COVID-19 Infection?

An interesting article in the Journal of American Medical Associations Ophthalmology report by Xang and others published September 16 looked at the association between daily wearing of glasses and the susceptibility to COVID-19 infection.

The study involved enrolling all inpatients with COVID-19 in a hospital in Suizhou China, which was a designated hospital for COVID-19 treatment in the area.  They looked at all inpatients from January 27 to March 11, 2020.  The exposure time was a daily wearing of glasses for more than eight hours.

A total of 276 patients with COVID-19 were enrolled and of these 155, 56.2% were male and the median age was 51. 

All those who wore glasses for more than eight hours a day had myopia and included 16 of 276 patients that is 5.8%.

Interestingly, the proportion of people with myopia in Hubei Province, based on a previous study was 31.5%.  This is clearly higher than the proportion of patients with COVID-19 who had myopia in the hospital setting. 

The study concluded that in the cohort study of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in Suizhou, China, the proportion of inpatients with COVID-19 who wore glasses for the extended daily period greater than eight hours per day was smaller than in the general population.  This suggests that the daily wearing of eyeglasses may make one less susceptible to catching COVID-19 infection.

The London General Practice welcomes any measures which can prevent infection with COVID-19. 

It has always encouraged social distancing, face mask wearing and hand sanitisation. 

This study suggests that even if one does not require optical glasses, possibly the general population should be encouraged to wear plain glasses as a barrier to prevent COVID-19 infection.

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