Glasses not contacts best in age of corona, say doctors

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Contact lens wearers would do well to switch to glasses for now, during the coronavirus pandemic, according to medical experts.

Wearing contacts could put you at greater risk of contracting coronavirus as well as conjunctivitis -- an infection also known as pink eye -- now seen as a symptom of the virus.

The contact between contact-wearers' finger and eyes may be the culprit, while putting them in and removing/adjusting them, as well as glasses acting as a kind of shield keeping people from touching their faces.

"If you're wearing contact lenses, you need to take a break," Dr. Cem Evereklioğlu, an eye disease specialist at Erciyes University in Kayseri, central Turkey, told Anadolu Agency.

In case the virus gets on the lenses, he warned: "The coronavirus stays longer, adhering to your contact lenses, and poses a risk."

Underlining that coronavirus could lead to conjunctivitis, Evereklioğlu said people who have very red eyes or watery, itchy eyes should telephone a health center.

Good hygiene is key to stemming COVID-19's spread, he said, urging people to do more to protect their eyes.

"We should wear glasses in crowded places like hospitals and stores," he said.

"Like we protect our mouth and nose with masks, we need to protect our eyes as much as possible."

After originating in Wuhan last December, the virus has spread to at least 180 countries and regions across the world, with its epicenter shifting to Europe.

The virus has killed more than 43,000 people and infected nearly 874,000 globally, while some 185,000 people have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

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