Since last year, scientists raised the hypothesis that glasses help to bar the contamination by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) through the eyes. This is because this region is also an open door for the virus, as well as a source of contagion.

Now, a recent study found out that the risk of infection by covid-19 in people who wear glasses may be twice to three times lower.  The research, conducted in India, was published in the website medRxiv.

Learn more about the preliminary work, how it was done, th results and next steps. It is worth noting the new investigations are necessary, but, as the disease is new, it is important to follow studies in the area.


Glasses and coronavirus: the research


The research evaluated 304 people, 223 men and 81 women, aging from 10 to 80, residents in Northern India, during two weeks.  Everyone presented symptoms of covid-19.

58 patients (19%) reported they frequently wore eyeglasses or sunglasses when exposed to sunlight.  Through a questionnaire, volunteers stated they touched the face 23 times and the eyes 3 times per hour, in average.


Glasses and coronavirus: results

óculos e coronavírus


According to the scientists, the results related to extended use of sunglasses were significant.  The current contamination rate of 1,35 of the population, in general, dropped to 0,48 among those who regularly wore glasses.  The calculated risk ratio, according to the study, was 0,36%.

That is, the chance of covid-19 infection dropped three times.

Researches believe that the low transmission ratio is due to two factors: glasses protect against contaminated droplets in the air and less frequent touches in the eye while wearing them.


Glasses and the coronavirus: Chinese resarch


A study carried out I n China and publish in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology in September 2020, pointed that wearing glasses for a long time reduces the chances of the new coronavirus infection by five times.

Scientists evaluated 276 positive covid-19 patients.  Factors are the same: less touches in the eyes and protection against airborne droplets.



In fact, scientists remark that the relation between wearing eyeglasses and the new coronavirus is still inconclusive.  This is because the study has not been revised by peers yet. Sampling was small and there was also difficulty to measure how long people wore glasses during the pandemic.

New investigations are necessary to evaluate the effects of glasses, such as protection against covid-19. However, as the disease is new, it is important to follow studies in the area.


Follow Phelcom’s blog and stay on top of main news in the area of eye care.