Users of contact lenses must be fully aware of the importance of proper eye hygiene. Research conducted by Bausch & Lomb this past summer determined that an alarming number of people regularly use dangerous chemicals rather than contact solution to moisten their lenses. Everything from baby oil, to beer to petroleum jelly was reportedly used as an alternative to proper contact lens solution by one eighth of the 2,000 adults polled in the United Kingdom.
A more worrisome number of those surveyed indicated that they use spit when putting lenses in their eyes. Since research shows that the mouth of the average adult contains hundreds of varieties of microorganisms, this is clearly not a good idea. To worsen the situation, an alarming number of individuals presume that water from a tap or bottle is a suitable alternative for lens solution, however even pure bottled water or distilled water can contain microorganisms that can cause eye damage and have been linked to Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening corneal infection. In fact, if you get water in your eyes from a pool, ocean or even a bath while wearing your contacts, it's advised to take out your contacts as quickly as possible and thoroughly rinse them to rinse away any parasites that may have adhered to them.
The only liquid that should be used to rinse, sterilize, moisten or soak your lenses is approved lens solution. Don't ever store your lenses in water! Keeping lenses in water does not thoroughly clean them and dangerous microorganisms can grow on your lenses almost instantly and eventually enter your eyes. In addition, contact solution is balanced to match the acidity of the tear film in your eyes and conversely water can cause discomfort or blurred vision because your lenses may stick or lose their shape.
When necessary care is difficult for you, definitely use one-use contact lenses rather than lenses that you reuse. You should always take age, daily routine and level of responsibility into consideration when determining which contact lens options are most suitable for the members of your family.
Don't forget failure to properly care for your contact lenses with proper contact solution can cause irreversible damage to the eyes or even complete vision loss.