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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Dec 06, 2023  2 months, 3 weeks, 5 days, 5 hours, 38 minutes ago

COVID-19 News: UK Study Validates That Use Of Protective Eyewear Reduces Risk Of SARS-CoV-2 Infection

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COVID-19 News: UK Study Validates That Use Of Protective Eyewear Reduces Risk Of SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Dec 06, 2023  2 months, 3 weeks, 5 days, 5 hours, 38 minutes ago
COVID-19 News: The ongoing battle against COVID-19 has prompted a continual exploration of preventive measures, with a recent study from University College London shedding light on an unexpected yet crucial aspect - the use of eyeglasses. The study, part of the Virus Watch prospective community cohort, delves into the role of eyewear in reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, presenting findings that may reshape our understanding of virus transmission. While previous research focused primarily on protective eyewear in healthcare settings, this study takes a community-based approach, emphasizing the potential impact of eye protection in both everyday and high-exposure environments.


 
Previous COVID-19 News coverages by Thailand Medical news had also showed that eyeglasses or any other protective eyewear can help prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections as the SARS-CoV-2 virus can also use the eyes as an entry point!
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-news:-new-report-in-lancet-confirms-that-coronavirus-can-spread-through-eyes
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/virus-research-shows-that-mask-alone-not-sufficient-as-protective-goggles-also-required-by-healthcare-staff-and-others-to-prevent-contracting-sars-cov
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-news-covid-19-studies-hong-kong-researchers-say-that-eyes-are-also-an-important-entry-point-for-sars-cov-2-coronavirus
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/ophthalmology-eyewear-and-covid-19-safety
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/covid-19-news-italian-researchers-find-that-sars-cov-2-can-affect-the-retina-in-the-eyes
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/covid-19-and-eyes-doctors-report-case-of-retinal-vein-occlusion-due-to-covid-19-in-patient-more-cases-of-eyes-being-attacked-by-sars-cov-2-emerging
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/covid-19-news-post-mortem-study-shockingly-reveals-prevalence-of-sars-cov-2-coronavirus-in-eye-ocular-tiss ues
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-german-study-shows-sars-cov-2-can-infect-and-replicate-in-retinal-cells-with-implications-of-eye-issues-for-long-covid
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/spanish-study-finds-that-sars-cov-2-coronavirus-present-in-tears-and-ocular-secretions-of-individuals-with-covid-19
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/university-college-london-ucl-study-reveals-that-eyewear-significantly-helps-reduce-risk-of-covid-19-infection
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/covid-19-news-norwegian-randomized-clinical-study-shows-that-wearing-glasses-does-reduce-the-risk-of-contracting-covid-19-to-a-degree
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/covid-19-news-study-validates-that-sars-cov-2-exhibits-ocular-tropism-and-is-able-to-cause-vision-issues
 
The Eyes as a Portal for Infection
Respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, can enter the body through the nose, mouth, and eyes, making eye protection a significant consideration in infection control. The study acknowledges the dual pathways for SARS-CoV-2 infection via the eyes - through conjunctival cells containing ACE2 receptors and the nasolacrimal duct transporting pathogens to the nose. Previous studies have detected the virus in ocular tissues, further underscoring the importance of eye protection beyond traditional measures like masks and hand hygiene.
 
Hypothesis and Study Design
Building on the biological mechanisms and insights from healthcare studies, the researchers hypothesized that eyeglasses might play a protective role against COVID-19 in community settings. The study design involved a survey within the Virus Watch cohort, examining the use of eyeglasses and contact lenses. The participants, totaling 19,166, provided valuable data on their eyewear habits, allowing for a comprehensive analysis of the association between eyewear use and the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
 
Study Findings
The study's multivariable logistic regression model revealed a 15% lower odds of SARS-CoV-2 infection for individuals who reported always wearing eyeglasses for general use compared to those who never wore eyeglasses. This reduction in risk persisted even after adjusting for factors such as age, sex, income, and occupation. Notably, the protective effect diminished for those who reported that wearing eyeglasses interfered with mask wearing. In contrast, the study found no protective effect for contact lens wearers.
 
The Impact of Eyeglasses on Mask-Wearing
One intriguing aspect highlighted in the study is the impact of eyeglasses on mask-wearing behavior. The findings indicate that individuals wearing eyeglasses may be less likely to wear face coverings due to issues like steaming up. This observation raises the importance of addressing practical challenges associated with mask use, suggesting that improvements in mask design and usage could enhance their effectiveness in conjunction with eyeglasses.
 
Discussion and Implications
The study's results carry significant implications for public health strategies, emphasizing the eyes as a potential route for SARS-CoV-2 infection. The reduction in infection risk among eyeglasses wearers points to the value of eye protection in preventing virus transmission in community and healthcare settings. The study's counterfactual analysis, showing no protective effect for contact lens wearers, strengthens the argument for a causal relationship between eyeglasses wearing and reduced COVID-19 risk.
 
Plausible Mechanisms and Future Considerations
The study explores various mechanisms through which eyeglasses may contribute to preventing COVID-19 infection. These include reducing the frequency of SARS-CoV-2 contaminated fingers touching the eyes, acting as a barrier against direct virus impaction, and intercepting larger aerosol particles produced by coughing and sneezing. The researchers suggest that eye protection measures extending beyond traditional eyeglasses, such as face shields, may offer even greater protection against respiratory viruses.
 
Limitations and Strengths
Acknowledging the study's strengths, including its prospective approach, large participant numbers, and diverse methods for identifying SARS-CoV-2 infections, the researchers also recognize certain limitations. The study's questions focused specifically on eyeglasses, excluding other forms of eye protection like face shields. Additionally, more detailed information on the context of eyeglass wearing, such as social or commuter settings, could enhance the analysis but was limited due to survey constraints.
 
Conclusion
In conclusion, the University College London study highlights the potential of eyeglasses as a valuable tool in reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection. As the findings extend beyond healthcare workers to community settings, the implications for public health strategies are significant. The study advocates for the consideration of protective eyewear, not only in the context of the current pandemic but also as part of broader strategies for preventing community transmission in future pandemics and high-exposure occupations. By addressing the importance of eye protection, this research contributes to the evolving landscape of COVID-19 preventive measures, emphasizing the need for a holistic approach to safeguard public health.
 
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed International Journal of Infectious Diseases.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1201971223007592
 
Thailand Medical News would also like to warn readers that new studies currently underway and are to be published soon, are indicating that some the newer SARS-CoV-2 variants and sub-lineages are now able to also bind to the nectin-1 and -2 and 3-O sulfated heparan sulfate (3-OS HS) receptors that are found in various ocular cell types!
 
For the latest COVID-19 News, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.
 
Read Also:
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/covid-19-symptoms-more-covid-19-patients-manifesting-eye-problems
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/news-covid-19-study-warns-that-ocular-inflammation-present-in-many-recovered-non-hospitalized-covid-19-patients
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/french-study-reveals-that-covid-19-causes-potentially-dangerous-eye-abnormalities-such-as-the-formation-of-nodules-in-the-macular-region
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/californian-study-shows-that-post-covid-individuals-are-at-a-risk-of-developing-retinal-vascular-occlusions-or-eye-strokes
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/covid-19-news-various-new-case-reports-show-that-sar-cov-2-is-causing-lots-of-new-eye-and-vision-issues-especially-in-post-covid-phases
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-covid-19-news-sars-cov-2-causes-macular-degeneration-by-promoting-rpe-cell-senescence-via-the-ros-p53-p21-pathway
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-covid-19-news-sars-cov-2-infections-can-lead-to-vogt-koyanagi-harada-syndrome-and-total-blindness
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/covid-19-news-study-finds-that-sars-cov-2-infection-worsens-dry-eye-conditions-in-many
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/covid-19-news-turkish-study-shows-that-even-mild-sars-cov-2-infections-causes-changes-to-corneal-endothelium-and-slightly-to-corneal-curvature
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-covid-19-news-turkish-researchers-shockingly-find-that-sars-cov-2-causes-changes-in-the-vascular-structures-of-the-eyes
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/covid-19-news-study-finds-alteration-of-corneal-nerve-parameters-and-increase-in-dendritic-cells-activation-2-years-after-covid-19-infection
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/covid-19-eyes-italy-researchers-propose-mechanism-by-which-sars-cov-2-causes-follicular-conjunctivitis
 
https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-covid-19-news-chinese-study-discovers-that-sars-cov-2-increases-the-risk-for-developing-acute-angle-closure-glaucoma

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