Contact lens wearers understand the importance of proper eye care. Research performed by Bausch & Lomb this past August showed that a large number of individuals regularly use dangerous lubricants rather than contact solution to wet their lenses. Everything from baby oil, to lemonade to butter was reportedly used as an alternative to proper lens solution by one eighth of the 2,000 adults surveyed in the British survey.
Even more of the respondants indicated that they have used saliva when putting lenses in their eyes. Considering that the average adult mouth contains 500 to 650 varieties of bacteria, this is clearly not a good idea. Moreover, far too many people believe that water from a tap or bottle is a safe substitute for lens solution, however even pure bottled water or distilled water may contain microorganisms that can damage the eye and have been linked to Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening corneal infection. In fact, if you get water in your eyes from a pool, ocean or even a bath while wearing your lenses, it's a good idea to take out your contacts as quickly as possible and thoroughly rinse them to rinse off any microorganisms that may have adhered to them.
The only liquid that should be used to wash, sterilize, moisten or store your contact lenses is approved lens solution. Never keep your contact lenses in water! Keeping lenses in water does not sterilize them and dangerous fungi can grow on your lenses almost instantly and enter your eyes once you put them in. Further, contact solution is balanced to compliment the saltiness of your tears and conversely water 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 difficult for you, definitely try to use daily disposable contact lenses instead of lenses that you reuse. You should always take age, lifestyle and level of responsibility into consideration when deciding which contacts are best for you.
Before you or anyone in your family begins to wear contact lenses you should make sure to learn with your eye care professional the proper way to care for and store them.
Only those who can understand the proper way to care for contacts and how important this is should wear contact lenses, particularly reusable brands. Failure to do so can cause permanent damage to the eyes, loss of vision and even blindness!