Eyeglasses may protect against COVID-19, preliminary data suggests


People who where eyeglasses daily may be less likely to be infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology.

The cohort study included 276 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 from January 27 to March 13, 2020 who wore eyeglasses for more than eight hours each day. Data on exposure history, clinical symptoms, underlying diseases, duration of wearing glasses, and myopia status and the proportion of people with myopia who wore eyeglasses in the Hubei province were collected.

Of the study participants, 56.2 percent were male, and the median age was 51 years old. All those who wore glasses for more than eight hours a day had myopia and included 16 of the 276 patients. The proportion of people with myopia in Hubei province, based on a previous study, was 31.5 percent, which was much higher than the proportion of patients with COVID-19 who had myopia in this sample, the researchers said.

The study concluded the proportion of inpatients with COVID-19 who wore glasses for extended daily periods was smaller than that in the general population, suggesting that daily wearers of eyeglasses may be less susceptible to COVID-19. However, the researchers said further studies are needed to clarify the reasons that wearing eyeglasses may decrease susceptibility.

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