People who wear glasses could be up to three times less likely to be infected by a coronavirus, a study from India has suggested.
One way the virus can enter the body is by people touching their eyes, nose, or mouth after coming into contact with it.
However, researchers in India say people who wear glasses rub their eyes less and are therefore at less risk of contracting Covid-19.
In a non-peer-reviewed study published on the website medRxiv, the researchers studied 304 people (223 male and 81 female) at a hospital in northern India over two weeks last summer. The patients were aged between 10 and 80 and had all reported Covid symptoms.
Of those, 19 percent said they wore glasses most of the time.
The researchers found participants touched their faces up to 23 times each hour on average and their eyes an average of three times per hour.
They found the risk of contracting Covid-19 was two to three times lower among those who wear glasses.
“Touching and rubbing of the eyes with contaminated hands may be a significant route of infection,” the report said.
“Long-term use of spectacles may prevent repeated touching and rubbing of the eyes.”
Doctors have previously recommended that people who wear contact lenses switch to glasses to avoid potentially passing coronavirus from their hands to their eyes.