And Dr. Maragakis famous that any variety of components may confound the info, and it could be that sporting glasses is solely related to one other variable that impacts threat for Covid-19. For instance, it may very well be that individuals who put on glasses are usually older, and extra cautious and extra prone to keep residence throughout a viral outbreak, than those that don’t put on glasses. Or maybe individuals who can afford glasses are much less prone to contract the virus for different causes, like having the means to reside in much less crowded areas.
“It’s one study,” Dr. Maragakis mentioned. “It does have some biological plausibility, given that in health care facilities, we use eye protection,” reminiscent of face shields or goggles. “But what remains to be investigated is whether eye protection in a public setting would add any protection over and above masks and physical distancing. I think it’s still unclear.”
Well being care employees put on protecting gear over their eyes to guard them from droplets that may fly from coughs and sneezes, in addition to aerosolized particles that type when sufferers bear medical procedures, reminiscent of intubation. However for the overwhelming majority of individuals, that further stage of safety in all probability isn’t wanted if an individual is sporting a masks and conserving bodily distance in public areas. There’s additionally the opportunity of introducing threat by sporting glasses — some individuals would possibly contact their faces extra after they placed on glasses, slightly than much less, famous Dr. Maragakis.
That mentioned, extra examine is required to see if the pattern holds up in different examine populations, mentioned Dr. Thomas Steinemann, a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and professor of ophthalmology at MetroHealth Medical Middle in Cleveland.
“I think it’s provocative, and it’s extremely interesting,” Dr. Steinemann mentioned.
However Dr. Steinemann famous that the examine shouldn’t trigger fear amongst individuals who don’t put on glasses. “It probably can’t hurt to wear glasses, but does everybody need to do that? Probably not,” he mentioned. “I think you have to consider the practicality of wearing eye protection or a face shield. People in certain occupations, first responders, caregivers for someone who is ill, those are people who should maybe take special notice.”
The findings additionally increase attention-grabbing questions on how usually the eyes is perhaps the entry portal for the virus. It’s lengthy been established that viruses and different germs can enter the physique by facial mucous membranes within the eyes, nostril and mouth. However the nostril appears to be a primary entry level for coronavirus, as a result of it has a excessive variety of receptors that create a pleasant surroundings wherein the virus can replicate and transfer down the respiratory tract.
However docs are seeing a small proportion of sufferers with eye symptoms, together with conjunctivitis or pink eye, which suggests the virus may additionally be coming into the physique by the eyes. Though eye signs are much less widespread than different signs like cough or fever, varied research have reported that eye complaints will be a sign of Covid-19 infection.