A study conducted by Bausch & Lomb this past August revealed that an alarming number of people were using dangerous chemicals in place of lens solution to keep their lenses moist. Everything from baby oil, to coke to butter was reportedly used as an alternative to actual contact lens solution by one eighth of the two thousand adults that responded in the British survey.
An even larger number of those surveyed indicated that they have used saliva when inserting their contacts. Considering we know that the typical adult mouth is known to house 500 to 650 varieties of germs, this is clearly not a good idea. To worsen the situation, far too many people think that tap water, bottled water or distilled water are a suitable alternative for contact lens solution, nevertheless even those may contain parasites that can cause eye damage and have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, an infection that could lead to blindness. In fact, if you get water in your eyes when swimming or bathing while wearing your contacts, it's a good idea to take out your contacts as soon as possible and disinfect them to rinse away any microorganisms that may have stuck to them.
The only fluid that should be used to wash, disinfect, moisten or store your lenses is proper contact solution. Don't ever keep your lenses in water! Leaving lenses in water isn't effective in disinfecting them and harmful bacteria can grow on your contacts within minutes and eventually enter your eyes. In addition, contact lens solution is balanced to compliment the saltiness of the tear film in your eyes 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 necessary care is difficult for you, you should consider using daily disposable contacts instead of lenses that you reuse. Be sure to take into consideration your way of life when you are choosing between daily disposables and reusable contacts.
Before you begin to wear contacts you should make sure to go over proper care guidelines with an eye care professional.
Only individuals that can understand the proper way to care for contacts and the importance of doing so should wear contact lenses, especially reusable brands. Failure to do so can lead to permanent eye damage, loss of vision and even total blindness!