A study performed by Bausch & Lomb this past August determined that an alarming number of people regularly use strange substances in place of contact lens solution to keep their lenses moist. Everything from baby oil, to lemonade to butter was reportedly used as a substitute to proper contact lens solution by one eighth of the two thousand adults surveyed in the British survey.
A larger number of the respondants reported that they use saliva when putting lenses in their eyes. Since research shows that the mouth of the average adult is known to contain hundreds of different types of microorganisms, this is clearly not a good idea. Additionally, an alarming number of people presume that water from a tap or bottle is a suitable substitute for contact solution, although even pure bottled water or distilled water may contain microorganisms that can cause eye damage and have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, an infection that threatens your eyesight. Even moreso, if water enters your eyes from a pool, ocean or even a bath while wearing your contacts, it's recommended to remove your contacts as soon as you can and thoroughly rinse them to rinse away any parasites that may have adhered to them.
The only thing that should be used to wash, disinfect, moisten or soak your lenses is approved lens solution. It's dangerous to keep your contact lenses in water! Leaving your contacts in water isn't effective in disinfecting them and harmful pathogens can grow on your contacts within minutes and eventually enter your eyes. Additionally, contact solution is made to match the acidity of your tears and water on the other hand can cause discomfort or blurred vision because your contacts may stick or change shape.
At times that you know that you do not have the means to properly disinfect your contact lenses, you should definitely consider using daily disposable lenses as opposed to lenses that you reuse. Speak to your eye doctor about taking age, way of life and level of responsibility into consideration when determining which contact lens options are best for you.
Before you or anyone in your family begins to use contact lenses be sure to go over proper care guidelines with your optometrist.
Only individuals that can understand how to properly care for contact lenses and how important this is should wear contacts, especially reusable brands. Failure to do so can cause severe damage to the eyes, loss of vision and even total blindness!