When it comes to wearing contact lenses, it is crucial to be fully aware of the importance of proper eye hygiene. A study conducted by Bausch & Lomb this past August revealed that an alarming number of adults regularly use dangerous chemicals rather than contact lens solution to soak their lenses. Products including baby oil, beer, coke, Vaseline, lemonade, fruit juice, butter as well as others were all mentioned as occasional substitutes, by twenty percent of the 2,000 adults surveyed in the UK.
An even more worrisome number of those queried reported that they use spit when putting lenses in their eyes. Knowing that the mouth of the average adult is known to house 500 to 650 varieties of microorganisms, this can pose a serious health risk to your eyes. Further, an alarming number of people assume that water from a tap or bottle is a suitable alternative for lens solution, however even those may contain parasites that can damage the eye and have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, an infection that could lead to blindness. Even moreso, if water enters your eyes from a pool, ocean or even a bath while wearing your contacts, it's advised to take out your contacts as soon as possible and thoroughly rinse them so no microorganisms can get trapped underneath.
The only fluid that should be used to rinse, sterilize, moisten or soak your contacts is approved contact solution. Don't ever keep your contact lenses in water! Leaving your contact lenses in water does not disinfect them and harmful pathogens can multiply on your lenses almost instantly and enter your eyes with the contacts. In addition, lens solution is balanced to match the saltiness of your tears and water on the other hand can cause discomfort or blurred vision since your lenses may stick or change shape.
If you know that you do not have the means to properly disinfect your contacts, use one-use contacts as opposed to lenses that you reuse. Speak to your eye doctor about taking age, daily routine and level of maturity into consideration when determining which contacts are best for you.
Don't forget failure to properly care for your lenses with proper contact lens solution can cause serious eye damage or even complete blindness.