COVID-19 is a severe respiratory illness discovered in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019. This novel coronavirus spread rapidly, hitting the United States at the beginning of 2020. Scientists scrambled to understand how the virus is transmitted. Guidelines for how we could protect ourselves changed as the evidence changed.
Everyone has heard the most current recommendations: remain six feet apart, mask up, don’t touch your face, and frequently wash your hands. Official guidance does not include wearing prescription safety glasses, but could wearing eye protection provide an unseen benefit against COVID-19?
How COVID Spreads
We now all know that SARS-CoV2 spreads from one person to the next through respiratory droplets and aerosols. The difference between these two is that droplets are larger and don’t tend to stay in the air as long, while the smaller aerosols can remain airborne for several hours. The droplets are more likely to enter another person’s system when they are near an infected individual, which is why we should stay six feet away from others.
When an infected person shouts, coughs, sings, sneezes or laughs, they emit a heavier load of the virus than someone who is talking. These droplets can also travel farther due to the force of emission. However, simply breathing or talking can result in airborne particles that stay adrift for long periods of time, potentially infecting people long after the contagious individual leaves the area. Both droplets and aerosols can enter a person through the mouth, nose and eyes.
How Prescription Safety Glasses Might Help
Workplace safety now includes wearing COVID personal protection equipment, usually a mask and gloves. In many industries, plexiglass is utilized to set up barricades between people and reduce the likelihood that infected droplets or aerosols will make contact with another individual. Some people opt to wear face shields. This measure offers similar protection to prescription safety glasses.
If your job requires you to wear safety glasses or goggles, you may be less prone to contracting the virus through your eyes. There are a couple of reasons this may be the case.
One way people can contract COVID through the eyes is by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their eyes. People touch their faces unconsciously throughout the day, including their eyes. Even if they wash their hands regularly, they rub or scratch their eyes more often than they could ever keep up with handwashing. When people wear their prescription safety glasses, they are less inclined to touch their faces as often, thus reducing their vulnerability to the virus.
While it is less likely to occur, the coronavirus can enter the body directly through the eyes. If a contagious person emits a heavy viral load and a person happens to be in the direct line of that load, the droplets or aerosols can land in their eyes. This scenario is most likely to occur when two people are in close contact or if a contagious person is engaged in strenuous activity close to others, such as running, where they’re more likely to emit a lot of the virus at one time.
Wearing your prescription safety glasses provides you with protection from inherent job hazards. These days, one of those hazards includes contracting COVID, particularly in work environments. where people come into close contact with their coworkers. Though your safety goggles or glasses are not intended for this purpose, you might be getting just a little bit more of a boost from them than you realized!
Where To Get Prescription Safety Glasses
Safety Gear Pro offers premium-quality safety glasses for those who require a prescription. We carry ANSI Z87.1-rated prescription safety glasses for every environment. You no longer have to worry about compromising your vision for safety. Check out our inventory and find a pair that works for you.