Contact lens wearers practice proper eye hygiene. A study conducted by Bausch & Lomb this past August revealed that many people regularly use dangerous lubricants in place of contact solution to keep their lenses moist. Everything from baby oil, to lemonade to butter was reportedly used as a substitute to proper contact solution by one eighth of the two thousand adults surveyed in the UK.
An even more alarming number of the respondants indicated that they use spit when putting lenses in their eyes. Since we know that the mouth of the average adult contains hundreds of varieties of microorganisms, this can pose a serious health risk to your eyes. To worsen the situation, many people believe that water from a tap or bottle is a suitable alternative for lens solution, nevertheless even pure bottled water or distilled water may contain microorganisms that can damage the eye 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 advised to remove your lenses as soon as possible and disinfect them to rinse away any microorganisms that may have adhered to them.
Disinfecting your contact lenses is an absolute and only properly labeled contact lens disinfectants should be used. Don't ever store your lenses in water! Leaving contact lenses in water does not thoroughly clean them and harmful pathogens can grow on your lenses in minutes and eventually enter your eyes. Further, contact lens solution is made to compliment the saltiness of the tear film in your eyes and conversely water can cause a reaction which makes your contacts change shape or stick causing discomfort and blurred vision.
When necessary care is difficult for you, consider using one-use contact lenses as opposed to lenses that you reuse. It's essential to take age, daily routine and level of responsibility into consideration when determining which contact lens options are most suitable for you.
Only those who are capable of understanding the proper way to care for contact lenses and the importance of doing so should wear contacts, especially long-term wear contacts. Failure to do so can result in permanent harm or even total vision loss.