SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Recent findings reveal that wearing goggles, face shields, and other eye PPE may lower COVID-19 infection rates in combination with other protective measures, such as frequent handwashing and wearing face coverings.

Published in The Lancet, the systematic review and analysis of over 170 studies from 16 countries suggest that eye protection for health care workers and administrators may add a substantial defense against COVID-19 and others in the same family, like SARS and MERS.

According to the study, wearing eye protection may make COVID-19 transmission about three times less likely.

The risk of transmission was reduced from 16% to 5.5% on average for people who protected their eyes with goggles, face shields and other eye PPE compared with those who didn’t cover their eyes with PPE.

For the general public, “eye protection is typically under-considered,” the study authors pointed out, even though it can be “effective in community settings.”

At last check, the CDC has only issued formal guidelines around eye protection for health care workers, recommending that it be used “in areas with moderate to substantial community transmission.”

Otherwise, the CDC says it is optional for the general public in “areas with minimal to no community transmission” (unless eye protection is recommended as a precaution).

The CDC also notes that “personal eyeglasses and contact lenses are not considered adequate eye protection” for health care workers.

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