Contact lens wearers practice proper eye hygiene. Research conducted by Bausch & Lomb in August determined that an alarming number of individuals regularly use dangerous chemicals in place of lens solution to keep their lenses moist. Everything from baby oil, to beer to petroleum jelly was reportedly used as an alternative to actual contact solution by twenty percent of the two thousand adults surveyed in the survey conducted in the UK.
An even more alarming number of those surveyed indicated that they use spit when putting lenses in their eyes. Considering that the average adult mouth is known to be the home of hundreds of varieties of bacteria, this is clearly not a good idea. Additionally, many individuals presume that water from a tap or bottle is a suitable replacement for contact solution, although even those can contain microorganisms that can cause damage to the eye and have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, an infection that could lead to blindness. In fact, if you get water in your eyes from a pool, ocean or even a bath while wearing your lenses, it's recommended to remove your lenses as soon as possible and disinfect them to rinse away any microorganisms that may have adhered to them.
Disinfecting your contacts is an absolute and only properly labeled contact solution should be used. It's dangerous to store your contacts in water! Storing lenses in water does not sterilize them and dangerous bacteria can gather on your lenses in minutes and eventually enter your eyes. Additionally, contact solution is balanced to match the saltiness of your tears and water on the other hand can cause a reaction which makes your contacts change shape or stick causing discomfort and blurred vision.
At times that adequate storage or cleansing is difficult for you, you should definitely use one-use lenses instead of lenses that you reuse. Speak to your optometrist about taking age, lifestyle and level of responsibility into consideration when deciding which contact lens options are most suitable for the members of your family.
Only those who can understand how to properly care for contacts and how important this is should use contacts, especially long-term wear contacts. Failure to do so can result in irreversible damage to the eyes, vision loss and even total blindness!