Dr. Eli Perencevich is an infectious disease physician at the University of Iowa and the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Health
“I wear a face shield every time I enter a store or other building,” said Dr. Eli Perencevich. “Sometimes I also wear a cloth mask if required by the store’s policy.”
Amesh Adalja, M.D., a pandemic preparedness expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, says, “There’s a lot of at least biological possibility to suspect that [shields] are definitely better than homemade face masks, and maybe even better than other types of masks as well, because they not only prevent you from spreading it … [and] because it also covers your eyes, it provides more protection to the mucus membranes of your face where you might be getting infected.” Regarding those who object to masks for different reasons. He also says “If they have a problem with masks, why can’t they wear a face shield? It’s a good option.”
James Cherry, M.D., a distinguished research professor and infectious disease expert at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, says that while experts aren’t yet sure about how vulnerable our eyes are to infection from this coronavirus, “With many viruses, the eyes are important.” He points to measles and adenoviruses as examples of viruses that are known to infect people through their eyes.
Dr. Robert Glatter is on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in his role as emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Reading over the new report, he agreed that “common sense” measures are crucial in curbing infections.
“One approach that makes the most sense, especially in light of the limitations of face masks and face coverings, is the use of face shields,” Glatter said.
“While we don’t have hard trials or data on the efficacy of face shields at this time, early data from their use in patients with influenza [which is droplet-spread] is promising,” he noted. “What’s clear is that their success in hospital settings provides the basis for their utility in the community setting as we relax physical distancing going forward.”
Dr. Joseph Fair says he caught COVID-19 through the eyes in this video.