A study conducted by Bausch & Lomb in August revealed that many individuals regularly use potentially harmful lubricants instead of contact lens solution to keep their lenses moist. Substances such as baby oil, beer, coke, petroleum jelly, lemonade, fruit juice, butter as well as others were all listed as substitutions that were used, by 20% of the two thousand adults that responded in the United Kingdom.
An even larger number of those queried indicated that they use spit when inserting their contacts. Since we know that the mouth of the typical adult contains 500 to 650 different types of microorganisms, this can pose a serious health risk to eyes. Additionally, far too many individuals think that tap water, bottled water or distilled water are a safe substitute for contact lens solution, however even those may contain microorganisms that can cause damage to the eye and have been associated with 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 lenses are in, it’s advised to take out your lenses as quickly as possible and disinfect them so no parasites can get stuck underneath.
The only liquid that you should use to rinse, sterilize, lubricate or soak your contact lenses is proper contact lens solution. Don’t ever store your lenses in water! Storing your lenses in water does not sterilize them and dangerous microorganisms can grow on your contacts almost instantly and enter your eyes with the contacts. Further, contact lens solution is balanced to match the acidity of your tears and conversely water can cause a reaction which makes your contacts change shape or stick causing discomfort and blurred vision.
When you know that you do not have the means to properly disinfect your contact lenses, definitely try to use one-use contact lenses as opposed to lenses that you reuse. Be sure to consider way of life when you are deciding which type of contacts to purchase.
Only those who can understand how to properly care for contact lenses and the importance of doing so should wear contact lenses, particularly reusable brands. Failure to do so can result in serious eye damage, loss of sight and even blindness!