Research conducted by Bausch & Lomb this past August showed that an alarming number of people regularly use dangerous lubricants instead of contact solution to keep their lenses moist. Products including baby oil, beer, coke, petroleum jelly, fruit juices, butter as well as others were all listed as alternatives used, by 20% of the two thousand adults surveyed in the United Kingdom.
Even more of the respondants indicated that they use spit when inserting their contacts. Knowing that the mouth of the average adult is known to contain 500 to 650 different types of microorganisms, this can pose a serious health risk to your eyes. Additionally, an alarming number of people believe that water from a tap or bottle is a suitable substitute for contact solution, although even those can contain parasites that can cause eye damage and have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, an infection that threatens your eyesight. Even moreso, if you get water in your eyes from a pool, ocean or even a bath while wearing your contacts, it's a good idea to remove your contacts as quickly as you can and thoroughly rinse them to rinse away any parasites that may have stuck to them.
The only liquid that you should use to rinse, sterilize, lubricate or soak your lenses is proper contact lens solution. Never store your lenses in water! Keeping lenses in water isn't effective in sterilizing them and dangerous microorganisms can grow on your contacts almost instantly and eventually enter your eyes. Further, contact solution is balanced to match the saltiness of the tear film in your eyes and water on the other hand can cause discomfort or blurred vision because your contacts may stick or change shape.
If necessary storage or cleansing is difficult for you, you should use one-use contacts rather than lenses that you reuse. It's important to take age, lifestyle and level of maturity into consideration when deciding which contact lens options are most suitable for the members of your family.
Before you or anyone in your family begins to wear contact lenses be sure you review with your optometrist the proper way to care for and store them.
Don't forget failure to properly care for your contacts with approved contact lens solution can cause permanent eye damage or even complete loss of sight.