Research conducted by Bausch & Lomb this past August determined that a large number of people are using dangerous chemicals rather than lens solution to wet their lenses. Everything from baby oil, to beer to butter was reportedly used as an alternative to proper contact solution by twenty percent of the two thousand adults polled in the survey conducted in the UK.
An even more worrisome number of those surveyed reported that they have used saliva when putting lenses in their eyes. Considering that the average adult mouth is known to house hundreds of different types of bacteria, this can pose a serious health risk to your eyes. Additionally, an alarming number of individuals believe that tap water, bottled water or distilled water are a safe replacement for lens solution, nevertheless even pure bottled water or distilled water may contain microorganisms that can cause damage to the eye and have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening corneal infection. Even moreso, if water enters your eyes from a pool, ocean or even a bath while wearing your lenses, it's a good idea to remove your lenses as soon as possible and disinfect them so no microorganisms can get trapped underneath.
The only fluid that should be used to rinse, sterilize, lubricate or soak your contact lenses is proper contact solution. Never store your contact lenses in water! Keeping contact lenses in water does not thoroughly clean them and dangerous pathogens can gather on your lenses almost instantly and eventually enter your eyes. In addition, lens solution is made to compliment the acidity of your tears and water on the other hand can cause a reaction which makes your contacts change shape or stick causing discomfort and blurred vision.
At times that adequate storage or cleansing is not possible for you, definitely consider using daily disposable contact lenses rather than lenses that you reuse. Be sure to think about lifestyle when you are choosing between daily disposables and reusable contacts.
Before you or anyone in your family begins to use contacts be sure to discuss with your eye doctor the proper way to care for and store them.
Only individuals that can understand the proper way to care for contact lenses and the importance of doing so should wear contact lenses, especially reusable brands. Failure to do so can lead to permanent eye damage, vision loss and even complete blindness!