You’ve likely seen people paring protective glasses with their face masks, or wearing full face shields while out in public. But why? Can you contract infectious diseases through your eyes?
The short answer is yes. Which is why you should explore whether eyeglasses or eyewear should be added to your arsenal of personal protective equipment. Here, we break down what you need to know to stay safe.
Coronavirus Eye Protection
Much attention has been placed on protecting the nose and mouth with masks and hand washing, but eye protection is perhaps an overlooked topic of conversation. According to the CDC, the eyes are a transmission portal because infectious diseases can be introduced through the conjunctiva, or mucous membranes in the eye.
How the Eyes Can Get Infected
There are many ways that the eyes can become infected and these should be considered when deciding on eye protection. When people cough or sneeze, respiratory droplets can be introduced into the eyes. People also risk infecting the eyes by touching or rubbing them with contaminated hands.
How Eyewear Protects the Eyes
Whether goggles or face shields, eye protection serves as a barrier to block infectious materials from entering the eye. Most often, they are used with masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment. According to the CDC, eye protection reduces the risk of eye infections from 16% (the risk without eye protection) to 6% when it’s properly used.
Types of Eye Protection
According to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), face shields and goggles are effective ways to protect the eyes. These forms of eyewear cover the front and sides of the face which are essential features to shield the eyes.
One challenge is how to keep safety glasses from fogging up while wearing them during daily activities. A potential solution is to use an anti-fog product or treatment. Another effective tactic is to adjust the glasses or goggles to fit your face properly, which will reduce the amount of moisture, heat, and humidity that gets trapped in the eyewear.
Effectiveness of Glasses and Eyewear Against Coronavirus
Protective eyewear can reduce the risk for people who have frequent public contact, such as those who work in grocery stores and restaurants. According to the evidence, wearing eyewear in high-risk situations is smart. In addition, The American Academy of Ophthalmology reported that glasses or even sunglasses can protect the eyes from infected respiratory droplets. Eye protection could also be helpful for those who have an underlying health condition.
The CDC has not issued any formal guidance for the general public about eyewear protection; however, they recommend protective eyewear for people who are considered to be part of high-risk categories such as senior populations, frontline workers, and those with underlying health conditions or suppressed immune systems. It is also recommended that eye protection be worn in communities where there is significant community spread of the coronavirus. Otherwise, protective eyewear is considered to be discretionary.
Although eye protection is not frequently considered when the discussions of coronavirus protection take place, there is a personal approach that can be taken. While it is not a requirement in general, considering whether you are in a high-risk category, as well as the benefits the protective eyewear can provide, will enable you to decide if protective eye glasses or shields are needed. If you decide to add eyewear or face shields to your protective equipment, consider those from Boomer Naturals. Our Boomer Anti-Droplet Protective Visor Face Shield and Eye Safety Glasses adhere to WHO standards and are comfortable enough to wear all day. Try one today!