When it comes to contact lenses, it is of utmost importance to understand the importance of proper eye care. Research conducted by Bausch & Lomb this past August determined that many individuals are using strange lubricants rather than lens solution to keep their lenses moist. Everything from baby oil, to lemonade to butter was reportedly used as an alternative to actual lens solution by twenty percent of the 2,000 adults that responded in the UK.
Even more of those surveyed reported that they use saliva when inserting their contacts. Considering we know that the typical adult mouth contains 500 to 650 different types of bacteria, this is clearly not a good idea. Further, an alarming number of people think that tap water, bottled water or distilled water are a safe substitute for contact lens solution, but even those can contain parasites that can damage the eye and have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening infection. In fact, if water enters your eyes when swimming or bathing while wearing your contacts, it's a good idea to take out your lenses as soon as possible and thoroughly rinse them to rinse away any parasites that may have adhered to them.
The only fluid that should be used to rinse, disinfect, moisten or soak your lenses is approved contact solution. Don't ever keep your lenses in water! Keeping contacts in water does not sterilize them and dangerous microorganisms can gather on your contacts almost instantly and enter your eyes once you put them in. In addition, contact lens 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 you know that you do not have the means to properly disinfect your contacts, use daily disposable lenses as opposed to resusable lenses. Be sure to take into consideration your daily routine when you are choosing between daily disposables and reusable contacts.
Before you or anyone in your family begins to wear contact lenses be sure you learn proper care guidelines with your optometrist.
Keep in mind that failure to properly clean and disinfect your lenses with approved contact lens solution can result in serious harm or even total vision loss.