A study conducted by Bausch & Lomb in August revealed that a large number of adults regularly use dangerous chemicals instead of lens solution to moisten their lenses. Everything from baby oil, to fruit juice to petroleum jelly was reportedly used as a substitute to actual lens solution by 20% of the 2,000 adults that responded in the survey conducted in the UK.
Even more of the respondants indicated that they use spit when putting lenses in their eyes. Considering we know that the mouth of the average adult is known to be the home of 500 to 650 different types of germs, this can pose a serious health risk to your eyes. Additionally, many people believe that tap water, bottled water or distilled water are a suitable replacement for lens solution, although even those can contain parasites that can cause eye damage and have been linked to Acanthamoeba keratitis, an infection that could lead to blindness. Even moreso, if water enters 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 you can and thoroughly rinse them so no parasites can get trapped to the surface of your eye.
Disinfecting your lenses is a must and only properly labeled lens solution should be used. Don't ever store your contact lenses in water! Storing lenses in water does not sterilize them and harmful fungi can grow on your lenses almost instantly and enter your eyes with the contacts. Additionally, contact solution is made to compliment the acidity 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.
When adequate care is difficult for you, you should consider using one-use contacts as opposed to lenses that you reuse. Speak to your eye doctor about taking age, daily routine and level of responsibility into consideration when deciding which contacts are most suitable for the members of your family.
Before trying out your first pair of contact lenses you should make sure to learn with your eye care professional the proper way to care for and store them.
Only those who can understand how to properly care for contact lenses and the importance of doing so should wear contacts, especially long-term wear contacts. Failure to do so can lead to permanent harm, loss of vision and even blindness!