Prayer #178: For Eyeglasses and COVID-19 Prevention
According to a study published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association Ophthalmology, the use of eyeglasses may be an added way to prevent the contraction of the COVID-19 virus. Although the main way the virus infection is transmitted is still believed to be through droplets emitted from the mouth, researchers have also mentioned the eye as another point of viral contact.
This recent study was conducted by the Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchung University in China. In China, according to reports published in recent years, there is a high prevalence of vision problems, reportedly in 80% of the population. Thus, the wearing of eyeglasses is common among Chinese individuals of all ages. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan, it was observed that very few people with eyeglasses were being admitted to the hospital with COVID.
The above researchers conducted a cohort study with 276 patients infected with the virus and admitted to the hospital from late January to March 13th. The median age was 51, and most were moderately ill with COVID-19. 5% were severely ill. Thirty of these patients (11%) wore eyeglasses, with 14 of these having myopia (near-sightedness) and 16 of them presbyopia (far-sightedness). None of the patients wore contacts or had had refractive surgery.
Using data from earlier reports, it was determined that the average myopia rate was 31.5% for people in this median age group. "The myopia rate of 31.5% is higher than the 5.8% among our patients with COVID-19," the researchers stated, hypothesizing that eyeglasses at least discourage those who wear them from touching their eyes and potentially transferring the virus. "For daily wearers of eyeglasses, who usually wear eyeglasses on social occasions, wearing eyeglasses may become a protective factor, reducing the risks of virus transfer to the eyes and leading to long-term daily wearers of eyeglasses being rarely infected with COVID-19," the research team concluded. More research needs to be done, to be sure, but the results of this study would seem to indicate that the eye may be a major pathway for infection from the virus and that more attention should be given to preventative measures such as more frequent handwashing and the avoidance of touching the eyes.
Pray for additional studies to be done on this subject. Pray for investigations with large population samples. Pray also for more accurate determination of the number of people who consistently wear eyeglasses in public. Pray especially that more would soon be learned regarding how important a pathway to COVID-19 infection the eye is.
Is. 26:4: "Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock."