Does wearing eyeglasses, including sunglasses, during times of public exposure help adults reduce their risk of acquiring COVID-19?
This study found no definitive evidence that wearing eyeglasses, including sunglasses, during times of public exposure reduces the risk of acquiring COVID-19. The sample size was smaller than intended and the intervention lasted only 14 days, so there may still be a benefit, though likely to be minimal. For now, best not to rely on eyeglasses or sunglasses alone when eye protection is needed.
Plan de l'etude:
Randomized controlled trial (single-blinded)
Eye protective gear is recommended for health care workers as part of personal protective equipment against the acquisition of infections, including SARS-CoV-2. However, the benefit of regular eyeglasses is uncertain. These Norwegian investigators recruited adults, 18 years or older, who did not regularly wear glasses. Other eligibility criteria included not having COVID-19 in the 6 weeks prior to participation, having no current symptoms consistent with COVID-19, and being willing to wear (or not wear) eyeglasses, including sunglasses, outside their home when close to others. Eligible participants (N = 3717), including 2873 (77.3%) with at least 3 doses of COVID-19 vaccine at the time of enrollment, randomly received (concealed) allocation assignment to the intervention (asked to wear any type of glasses when close to other people outside their home for 14 days) or to the control (encouraged not to wear glasses outside the home). COVID-19 test analysis occurred using laboratories reporting directly to the Norwegian national disease surveillance system. Analysis of the primary outcome of a positive COVID-19 test occurred by individuals masked to treatment group assignment.
Using both intention-to-treat and per-protocol analyses, no significant differences in reported COVID-19 cases occurred between the intervention and control groups (3.7% vs 3.5%, respectively). On secondary analyses, reported symptoms of respiratory infection did occur significantly less often in the intervention group than in the control group (30.8% vs 34.1%). The investigators initially calculated that the study needed to enroll 22,000 participants to reliably rule out a difference in the expected event rate of 2% in the control group and 1.5% in the intervention group.
David C. Slawson, MD
Professor and Vice Chair of Family Medicine for Education and Scholarship
Professor of Family Medicine, UNC Chapel Hill