The preliminary version of a new study from India on COVID-19 was published but has not yet been peer reviewed. I suspect it will see revision and a different argument made to explain its results.
The study claims that people who wear glasses have one third the risk of contracting COVID-19 compared to those without. But their argument is that wearing glasses means they touch their face and eyes less than other people. I suspect others reading this think the same thing I do.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) spread mainly through respiratory droplets and contact routes. Long term use of spectacles may prevent repeated touching and rubbing of the eyes. Aim of the study is to compare the risk of COVID-19 in long term spectacles wearers with the risk in persons not using spectacles.
[. . .]
In this study, total 58 patients showed the behavior of using spectacles continuously during day time and always on outdoor activities. The risk of COVID-19 was found 0.48 in spectacles wearing population as compared to 1.35 in population not using spectacles. The calculated risk ratio was 0.36. The protective effectiveness of the spectacles was found statistically significant (p-value .00113).
The present study showed that the risk of Covid-19 was about 2-3 times less in spectacles wearing population than the population not wearing those. The nasolacrimal duct may be a route of virus transmission from conjunctival sac to the nasopharynx.
I suspect that the results are right, that those with glasses are less likely to catch COVID-19.
But isn’t it more likely that the glasses are serving as a shield, protecting the eyes and preventing droplets from entering? So yes, wear glasses, goggles or better yet a full face shield.