A study conducted by Bausch & Lomb in August showed that an alarming number of people were using potentially harmful substances instead of contact solution to keep their lenses moist. Products including baby oil, beer, coke, petroleum jelly, fruit juices, butter as well as others were all listed as substitutions that were used, by one eighth of the two thousand adults that responded in the United Kingdom.
An even more alarming number of the respondants reported that they have used saliva when putting lenses in their eyes. Knowing that the mouth of the typical adult is known to contain hundreds of different types of germs, this can pose a serious health risk to your eyes. To worsen the situation, an alarming number of people think that tap water, bottled water or distilled water are a suitable alternative for lens solution, although even pure bottled water or distilled water may contain microorganisms that can cause eye damage and have been linked to Acanthamoeba keratitis, an infection that threatens your eyesight. Even moreso, if you get water in your eyes from a pool, ocean or even a bath while your lenses are in, it's a good idea to remove your contacts as quickly as possible and thoroughly rinse them to rinse away any parasites that may have stuck to them.
The only liquid that you should use to rinse, disinfect, lubricate or store your lenses is proper contact solution. It's dangerous to store your contact lenses in water! Storing lenses in water does not disinfect them and dangerous microorganisms can grow on your contacts in minutes and enter your eyes once you put them in. Further, contact solution is balanced to compliment the acidity of your tears and water on the other hand can cause discomfort or blurred vision because your lenses may stick or lose their shape.
At times that proper storage or cleansing is not possible for you, use daily disposable lenses as opposed to lenses that you reuse. Be sure to think about lifestyle when you are deciding which type of contacts to purchase.
Before you or anyone in your family begins to use contacts be sure you go over proper care guidelines with your optometrist.
Remember failure to properly clean and disinfect your lenses with proper contact lens solution can result in serious damage to the eyes or even complete loss of sight.