Can Your Glasses Really Keep You Safe From COVID-19?

While wearing a face mask is still the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19, wearing glasses may also help reduce the risk of contracting the virus. This is because it is possible, though unlikely, for the coronavirus to spread through the eyes.

Even though glasses are not included in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's coronavirus safety guidelines, most hospitals across the country require medical professionals to wear face shields or goggles. Eyewear can help protect the eyes from respiratory droplets and other sprays.

A study even found that eyewear can offer an additional layer of protection against COVID-19 (via HealthDay). However, the study was purely observational and some participants with glasses still contracted the virus. More research is needed to determine exactly how effective eyewear is at protecting people against the virus. As a result, health experts view glasses and goggles as a last line of defense. Wearing a face mask, washing your hands, and social distancing are still the best ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

How to protect yourself from COVID-19

Unless you work in a hospital, you really don't need to worry about wearing protective eyewear (via LiveStrong). With that said, there are still steps you can take to protect your eyes against the virus. Washing your hands and not touching your eyes and your face can help reduce the risk of infection. However, it is unlikely that the virus will be transmitted through the eyes.

COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets that enter the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth. This is why face masks offer the best protection. If you're not wearing a face mask, glasses or goggles will do little-to-nothing to protect you from the coronavirus. While wearing protective eyewear certainly can't hurt and will only add an additional layer of protection, the nose and mouth must be securely covered in order to reduce the risk of transmission. A properly fitted face mask can go a long way.