Question & Answer

Can wearing eye glasses prevent infection from COVID-19 in the general public?

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  • There have been claims on social and in mainstream media that, for the general public, wearing eye glasses can prevent infection from the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • There is currently no research evidence to help us determine if wearing eye glasses can prevent infection from COVID-19 in the general public.
  • There are currently no national or international guidelines that advise the public to wear eye glasses to prevent infection from COVID-19. However, the Health Service Executive (HSE), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that healthcare workers use eye protection when examining someone who has or might have COVID-19.
  • A review of studies that includes evidence from COVID-19 and other serious respiratory illnesses showed there may be a reduced risk of transmitting an infection when wearing eye protection.
  • Another review of studies suggests that there might be a reduction in COVID-19 infections with eye protection.

Things to Remember


  • Lead Researcher: Dr. Petek Eylül Taneri MD, PhD, HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network, University of Galway.
  • Reviewed by: Prof. Declan Devane, School of Nursing and Midwifery, HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network, Evidence Synthesis Ireland & Cochrane Ireland, University of Galway.
  • Topic Advisor: Dr. Darren Dahly, Principal Statistician, HRB Clinical Research Facility, Cork, Ireland, and Senior Lecturer in Research Methods in the UCC School of Public Health.
  • Public and Patient Advisor: Ms Deirdre Mac Loughlin, PPI Ignite, University of Galway.
  • Journalist Advisor: Dr. Claire O’Connell, Contributor, The Irish Times.

Conflict of Interest Statement: The authors have no financial or other conflicts of interest for this health claim summary.