When it comes to contact lenses, it is crucial to practice proper eye care. A study performed by Bausch & Lomb in August showed that an alarming number of adults regularly use strange lubricants rather than lens solution to soak their lenses. Everything from baby oil, to lemonade to petroleum jelly was reportedly used as a substitute to actual contact lens solution by twenty percent of the 2,000 adults that responded in the United Kingdom.
Even more of those surveyed reported that they use spit when inserting their contacts. Knowing that the mouth of the average adult is known to be the home of hundreds of varieties of bacteria, this is clearly not a good idea. Additionally, an alarming number of people think that tap water, bottled water or distilled water are a suitable substitute for lens solution, nevertheless even pure bottled water or distilled water may contain microorganisms that can cause eye damage and have been linked to Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening infection. In fact, if water enters your eyes when swimming or bathing while wearing your lenses, it's recommended to take out your contacts as soon as you can and disinfect them to rinse away any microorganisms that may have stuck to them.
Sterilizing your lenses is critical and only properly labeled contact lens solution should be used. Never keep your contacts in water! Keeping contacts in water isn't effective in disinfecting them and harmful fungi can gather on your lenses almost instantly and eventually enter your eyes. Further, lens solution is made to compliment the saltiness 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 lenses, you should definitely consider using one-use lenses as opposed to resusable lenses. Speak to your optometrist about taking age, lifestyle and level of maturity into consideration when deciding which contacts are best for the members of your family.
Don't forget failure to properly clean and disinfect your lenses with proper contact lens solution can cause serious eye damage or even total loss of sight.