Do Eyeglasses Offer Protection Against COVID-19?

In light of the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken across the globe, many are looking for viable ways of protecting themselves from infection.

Do Eyeglasses Offer Protection Against COVID-19?
eyeDo Eyeglasses Offer Protection Against COVID-19?

In addition to things like social distancing and wearing a mask, many wonder if wearing eyeglasses can lower the risk of infection. Since it seems a significant number of infections are caused by direct transmission, eyewear like prescription safety glasses could potentially provide a barrier against the virus.

The Gateway To the Soul

The eyes have often been referred to as the gateway to the soul, and while this may be true in trying to determine meaning or emotions, the eyes potentially provide a gateway for germs to enter the body. As a whole, the body is full of good bacteria. These are the organisms that live in the gut and on the skin tasked with protecting against germ-carrying bacteria. However, the eyes themselves have been found to play host to a number of disease-protecting bacteria. Since the eyes are more vulnerable to infection-causing bacteria, having their own bacterial defense is an added layer of safety.

The Spread of Germs and Bacteria

In addition to relying on good bacteria to set up a defense against viral or bacterial invasions, wearing a pair of eyeglasses can also reduce the risk of infection. Viruses that rely on airborne particles to spread, like COVID-19, can be passed from one person to another through coughing, sneezing, talking and any other activity that causes direct or close contact with infected air molecules. Droplets from an infected person can be inhaled by someone standing nearby. The six-foot social distancing rule is a way to prevent this from occurring. However, a person who comes in contact with a contaminated person or surface can also be infected.

Once a person touches a contaminated surface, touching the eyes, mouth or nose can give the germ a way to enter the body. Eyewear is thought to create an extra layer of defense, as it is much harder to touch the eyes when they are protected by sunglasses, reading lenses or prescription safety glasses. It is said that the average person will touch their faces more than 15 times an hour, with some estimates suggesting that 27% of the time those movements involved the eyes. With an extremely contagious virus like COVID-19, eyewear could have a key role in reducing infection rates.

The Use of Protective Eyewear

As the medical and research communities continue to learn about COVID-19, new information helps to inform safety practices for healthcare workers, those who aren’t able to social distance and the general public. One observational study found that the use of eyeglasses discourages people from touching their eyes, reducing the rate of transmission. While the study showed that any type of facial or eye covering would be effective, prescription safety glasses have a greater use beyond COVID-19 concerns. Though front-line workers may need to rely on comprehensive face protection from shields and goggles, safety glasses are a common part of PPE for many industries.

Protective eyewear is designed to reduce and prevent the risk of eye injuries for those on the job, playing sports or working in the yard. Safety glasses aren’t limited in application, and since COVID-19 is still a global concern, protective glasses should be included in your arsenal against the virus. Workplace safety is mandated, as seen by the regulations of OSHA. ANSI-rated safety glasses protect the eye from scratches, burns and other damage, but quality safety glasses can also help lower the risk of spreading COVID-19 through the workplace.

The Best Eyewear To Purchase

If you are committed to giving your employees the best in workplace safety gear, enroll in the Safety Gear Pro Corporate Safety Program. From a wide selection of ANSI-approved safety eyewear from top brands in the industry, you can help protect your employees from COVID-19 and other injuries.

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