A study performed by Bausch & Lomb this past summer revealed that an alarming number of people are using potentially harmful lubricants in place of contact lens solution to keep their lenses moist. Products such as baby oil, beer, coke, petroleum jelly, lemonade, fruit juice, butter as well as others were all mentioned as occasional substitutes, by one eighth of the 2,000 adults polled in the UK.
Even more of those surveyed reported that they have used saliva when inserting their contacts. Considering that the mouth of the typical adult contains 500 to 650 varieties of germs, this can pose a serious health risk to your eyes. To worsen the situation, far too many individuals believe that tap water, bottled water or distilled water are a safe substitute for contact solution, although even those can contain microorganisms that can cause eye damage and have been linked to Acanthamoeba keratitis, an infection that could lead to blindness. Even moreso, if you get water in your eyes from a pool, ocean or even a bath while your contacts are in, it's recommended to remove your contacts as soon as possible and disinfect them to rinse away any parasites that may have stuck to them.
The only thing that should be used to wash, sterilize, lubricate or store your lenses is proper lens solution. Don't ever keep your contact lenses in water! Keeping your lenses in water does not sterilize them and harmful microorganisms can multiply on your contacts within minutes and enter your eyes with the contacts. Additionally, contact lens solution is made to match the saltiness of your tears and conversely water can cause discomfort or blurred vision since your lenses may stick or lose their shape.
At times that you know that you do not have the means to properly disinfect your contact lenses, definitely use daily disposable contacts instead of resusable lenses. Be sure to take into consideration your lifestyle when you are choosing which type of contacts to purchase.
Only those who can understand how to properly care for contacts and the importance of doing so should wear contacts, particularly reusable brands. Failure to do so can cause serious damage to the eyes, vision loss and even complete blindness!