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Experts say that eye protection like goggles or glasses when worn with face masks and with social distancing, could provide additional protection against COVID-19 An international research team analyzed 44 studies across 26 countries in 2020. They state that physical distancing plays the greatest role in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Eye protection could reduce the risk of infection from 16% to 6% compared to those without eye protection. It may also provide additional benefits.
The research team also recommend other steps to slow the spread of the coronavirus, such as wearing a face mask, handwashing and hygiene. In addition, people should avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth. Distancing, face masks and eye protection are each highly protective, but none make individuals totally save from infection. There is always a risk.
CDC and other organisations have not issued guidelines to the public about eye protection yet. But in the advice for health care workers, the CDC recommends eye protection and face masks in locations with “moderate to substantial community transmission” to protect the eyes, nose and mouth from “splashes and sprays of infections material from others." In areas with low or no community spread, the CDC says, universal eye protection is optional.
Eye proection could also be helpful for those who have an underlying condition or work with the public often, such as in grocery stores, busses, hospitals or restaurants. So, if choosing between glasses and contacts, glasses can provide an additional protection.
Still, keep in mind that googles or glasses don’t provide 100% security. The virus can still reach your eyes from the exposed sides, tops and bottoms of your glasses or googles.