As early as 2020, there were initial indications that the coronavirus also seems to be able to get into the body through the eyes. New studies also show that eyeglass wearers apparently contract Covid-19 less often. The question arises as to whether glasses can actually protect against virus transmission via the eyes.
A person could possibly become infected with the coronavirus through the eyes, as the tear duct in the eye is directly connected to the nasopharynx, where the virus replicates. Researchers at Nanchang University in China have now noticed that only a few of their Covid-19 patients wore glasses. The team then checked the data of 276 people who were treated for Covid-19 in a hospital. It was found that only 16 people (5.8 percent) wore glasses. This value is far below the population average.
Another study from India came to a similar result: after examining 304 corona patients, it was found that people who wear glasses during the day have a two-thirds lower risk of developing Covid-19. According to Amit Kumar Saxena Senior, an author of the Indian study, the connection may be that people touch their face on average 23 times an hour and their eyes three times an hour. Since the eyes come into question as a possible entry point, glasses could have a certain protective function in that glasses wearers touch their eyes significantly less often.
The two studies provide indications that wearing glasses – at least in India or China – is associated with a reduced risk of Covid-19. However, the exact reasons have not yet been clarified, as other factors can also contribute to the lower infection rate. According to the Deutsches Ärzteblatt, for example, not everyone in China can afford glasses. The results could also be interpreted to the effect that glasses are an indicator of wealth. People who wear glasses are therefore likely to live in less crowded rooms and are therefore less likely to be infected. Similar conditions could also exist in India. Further research is therefore urgently needed. If the eyes actually play a major role in the corona infection, further measures would have to be initiated. And the option of protective glasses would be a first step towards protection.