Users of contact lenses must practice proper eye care. Research performed by Bausch & Lomb in August showed that an alarming number of adults regularly use potentially harmful substances in place of lens solution to moisten their lenses. Everything from baby oil, to lemonade to butter was reportedly used as an alternative to actual contact lens solution by twenty percent of the two thousand adults that responded in the United Kingdom.
Even more of those surveyed reported that they have used saliva when inserting their contacts. Considering that the mouth of the average adult is known to contain 500 to 650 different types of bacteria, this can pose a serious health risk to your eyes. Additionally, an alarming number of people think that water from a tap or bottle is a safe alternative for lens solution, however even those can contain parasites that can damage the eye and have been linked to Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening corneal infection. Even moreso, if water enters your eyes when swimming or bathing while your contacts are in, it's recommended to remove your lenses as quickly as you can and disinfect them to rinse off any parasites that may have adhered to them.
Sterilizing your contact lenses is a must and only properly labeled lens solution should be used. Don't ever store your lenses in water! Storing contacts in water isn't effective in sterilizing them and dangerous fungi can grow on your contacts almost instantly and enter your eyes with the contacts. Additionally, contact lens solution is balanced to compliment the acidity of your tears and conversely water can cause a reaction which makes your contacts change shape or stick causing discomfort and blurred vision.
If you know that you do not have the means to properly disinfect your contact lenses, use daily disposable lenses as opposed to lenses that you reuse. You should always take age, way of life and level of maturity into consideration when deciding which contacts are most suitable for the members of your family.
Before you or anyone in your family begins to wear contacts be sure to learn proper care guidelines with your optometrist.
Only those who can understand how to properly care for contact lenses and how important this is should wear contact lenses, particularly long-term wear contacts. Failure to do so can cause irreversible eye damage or even complete blindness.