In a rather surprising revelation, a study conducted in China has found that people wearing eyeglasses seem to be at a lower risk of contracting Covid-19. While UAE ophthalmologists are in agreement that eyewear or goggles could be of some help, they believe there is not sufficient proof for the same. Researchers who published the findings in the JAMA Ophthalmology journal found that the coronavirus positivity rate in people who wore glasses for more than eight hours a day was five times lower than the number of Covid patients with normal eyesight, reported Khaleej Times.
Dubai opthalmologist Dr Lilan Bhat noted glasses might help in reducing the number of times people touch their eyes coming into contact with a contaminated surface. “Protective glasses, not the regular ones are mandatory for healthcare professionals, especially those working in the intensive care units and respiratory therapists. People can wear face shields when stepping out as that also helps to protect the eyes,” she said.
Another ophthalmologist at Medeor Hospital, Dr Sanjay Vodela, added, “Coronavirus can spread through the eyes when an infected person coughs or sneezes in close proximity or if you touch a contaminated object before touching your eye. Eyeglasses in general protect you from such airborne conditions, as droplets from such a situation will not hit your eye and this is why contamination chances are higher if you do not have an eyewear.”
Weighing in on whether Covid can be linked to eye infections, Dr Bhat mentioned, “Rarely, severe infections — including a corneal infection and other sight-threatening infections — are possible. In just one Covid patient, I saw a severe herpes virus infection of the eye, probably a reactivation which resolved over several weeks leaving behind corneal scars,” she said. Dr Vodela added, “We saw two cases of eye infection related to Covid and both mimicked a typical conjunctivitis with complaints of redness, pain in the eye, glare and blurry vision, but these didn’t last long and faded away in sometime after we gave them supportive medication, mainly eye lubricants. Both the patients were free of these symptoms within 32 hours after taking the prescribed medications.”