Contact lens wearers be fully aware of the importance of proper eye care. A study performed by Bausch & Lomb in August showed that a large number of adults are using potentially harmful lubricants instead of contact solution to keep their lenses moist. Products including baby oil, beer, coke, petroleum jelly, lemonade, fruit juice, butter and others were all mentioned as occasional substitutes, by twenty percent of the 2,000 adults polled in the British survey.
Even more of the respondants indicated that they use spit when inserting their contacts. Knowing that the mouth of the average adult contains hundreds of different types of microorganisms, this is clearly not a good idea. To worsen the situation, many individuals believe that water from a tap or bottle is a safe alternative for lens solution, however 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 your contacts are in, it's a good idea to remove your contacts as soon as you can and thoroughly rinse them so no parasites can get trapped to the surface of your eye.
Sterilizing your lenses is critical and only properly labeled contact lens disinfectants should be used. Don't ever keep your contacts in water! Storing your contacts in water does not thoroughly clean them and dangerous microorganisms can multiply on your contacts almost instantly and eventually enter your eyes. Further, contact solution is made to match the saltiness of the tear film in your eyes and conversely water can cause a reaction which makes your contacts change shape or stick causing discomfort and blurred vision.
At times that you know that you do not have the means to properly disinfect your lenses, you should definitely consider using one-use contact lenses instead of lenses that you reuse. Speak to your eye doctor about taking age, lifestyle and level of responsibility into consideration when determining which contacts are best for you.
Keep in mind that failure to properly care for your contact lenses with approved contact solution can result in serious damage to the eyes or even complete blindness.