A study conducted by Bausch & Lomb this past August determined that an alarming number of people are using potentially harmful chemicals instead of contact solution to keep their lenses moist. Substances including baby oil, beer, coke, Vaseline, fruit juices, butter as well as others were all mentioned as alternatives used, by one eighth of the 2,000 adults surveyed in the UK.
An even more alarming number of those queried indicated that they use spit when inserting their contacts. Considering we know that the mouth of the average 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 solution, although even pure bottled water or distilled water can contain microorganisms that can damage the eye and have been associated with 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 your lenses are in, it's advised to take out your lenses as quickly as possible and disinfect them so no microorganisms can get stuck to the surface of your eye.
The only thing that you should use to wash, sterilize, moisten or store your lenses is approved contact lens solution. It's dangerous to keep your contact lenses in water! Leaving your lenses in water isn't effective in sterilizing them and dangerous bacteria can gather on your lenses almost instantly and enter your eyes once you put them in. Further, contact solution is balanced to match the acidity of the tear film in your eyes and conversely water can cause discomfort or blurred vision since your lenses may stick or lose their shape.
When adequate care is difficult for you, consider using daily disposable contact lenses as opposed to lenses that you reuse. Be sure to take into consideration your lifestyle when you are deciding between daily disposables and reusable contacts.
Before you begin to wear contacts you should make sure you discuss proper care guidelines with an eye care professional.
Only those who can understand how to properly care for contact lenses and how important this is should use contacts, particularly long-term wear contacts. Failure to do so can lead to permanent harm or even complete vision loss.