Users of contact lenses must understand the importance of proper eye hygiene. A study conducted by Bausch & Lomb this past summer revealed that many adults were using dangerous substances in place of lens solution to keep their lenses moist. Everything from baby oil, to lemonade to butter was reportedly used as an alternative to proper contact solution by 20% of the two thousand adults surveyed in the survey conducted in the UK.
An even more worrisome number of those surveyed reported that they have used spit when inserting their contacts. Since research shows that the mouth of the average adult is known to be the home of hundreds of varieties of germs, this is clearly not a good idea. To worsen the situation, far too many individuals think that tap water, bottled water or distilled water are a safe substitute for contact solution, however even pure bottled water or distilled water can contain parasites that can damage the eye and have been linked to Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening corneal infection. In fact, if water enters your eyes when swimming or bathing while your contacts are in, it's a good idea to remove your contacts as soon as possible and disinfect them to rinse off any microorganisms that may have adhered to them.
The only liquid that you should use to wash, cleanse, moisten or store your lenses is proper contact solution. Never keep your lenses in water! Storing your contact lenses in water isn't effective in disinfecting them and dangerous fungi can multiply on your lenses almost instantly and enter your eyes with the contacts. Additionally, contact lens solution is made to compliment the saltiness of your tears and conversely water can cause discomfort or blurred vision since your contacts may stick or change shape.
When adequate storage or cleansing is difficult for you, definitely try to use daily disposable contact lenses as opposed to lenses that you reuse. Speak to your optometrist about taking age, daily routine and level of responsibility into consideration when deciding which contacts are best for the members of your family.
Only individuals that are capable of understanding the proper way to care for contact lenses and how important this is should use contacts, particularly long-term wear contacts. Failure to do so can lead to irreversible damage to the eyes or even total loss of sight.