Contact lens wearers practice proper eye hygiene. Research conducted by Bausch & Lomb this past summer showed that an alarming number of people regularly use dangerous chemicals in place of contact solution to clean their lenses. Substances such as baby oil, beer, coke, Vaseline, lemonade, fruit juice, butter as well as others were all mentioned as substitutions that were used, by 20% of the two thousand adults surveyed in the survey conducted in the UK.
Even more of the respondants reported that they have used spit when putting lenses in their eyes. Considering we know that the mouth of the typical adult contains 500 to 650 different types of germs, this can pose a serious health risk to your eyes. Additionally, many people believe that water from a tap or bottle is a suitable alternative for contact lens solution, however even pure bottled water or distilled water can contain microorganisms that can cause eye damage and have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening infection. In fact, if water enters your eyes from a pool, ocean or even a bath while your contacts are in, it’s advised to take out your lenses as soon as possible and disinfect them to rinse off any parasites that may have adhered to them.
Disinfecting your contact lenses is an absolute and only approved contact solution should be used. It’s dangerous to store your contact lenses in water! Leaving your lenses in water isn’t effective in disinfecting them and harmful bacteria can grow on your contacts almost instantly and eventually enter your eyes. Additionally, contact lens solution is made to match the acidity of your tears and water on the other hand can cause discomfort or blurred vision because your contacts may stick or change shape.
If you know that you do not have the means to properly disinfect your contacts, you should definitely try to use one-use contacts as opposed to lenses that you reuse. It’s important to take age, way of life and level of responsibility into consideration when deciding which contact lens options are most suitable for you.
Before you begin to use contact lenses you should make sure to discuss with your eye doctor the proper way to care for and store them.
Remember failure to properly clean and disinfect your lenses with proper contact lens solution can result in irreversible harm or even total vision loss.