When it comes to use of contacts, it is crucial to understand the importance of proper eye hygiene. A study conducted by Bausch & Lomb this past August revealed that many adults were using potentially harmful substances rather than contact lens solution to keep their lenses moist. Substances including baby oil, beer, coke, Vaseline, fruit juices, butter as well as others were all mentioned as occasional substitutes, by twenty percent of the 2,000 adults polled in the survey conducted in the UK.
An even more worrisome number of the respondants indicated that they have used spit when putting lenses in their eyes. Since we know that the mouth of the typical adult is known to contain hundreds of varieties of germs, this is clearly not a good idea. Further, many individuals believe that tap water, bottled water or distilled water are a suitable alternative for contact lens solution, however even pure bottled water or distilled water can contain parasites that can damage the eye and have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, an infection that threatens your eyesight. Even moreso, if water enters your eyes when swimming or bathing while your lenses are in, it's a good idea to remove your contacts as soon as possible and disinfect them so no microorganisms can get trapped underneath.
Sterilizing your contact lenses is critical and only properly labeled lens disinfectants should be used. Never keep your contacts in water! Leaving your contact lenses in water isn't effective in disinfecting them and harmful fungi can multiply on your contacts within minutes and eventually enter your eyes. In addition, contact solution is balanced to compliment the saltiness of your tears and conversely water can cause a reaction which makes your contacts change shape or stick causing discomfort and blurred vision.
When you know that you do not have the means to properly disinfect your contact lenses, definitely use one-use contacts rather than lenses that you reuse. Be sure to think about lifestyle when you are choosing which type of contacts to purchase.
Before trying out your first pair of contact lenses be sure to discuss proper care guidelines with your eye doctor.
Only individuals that can understand the proper way to care for contact lenses and the importance of doing so should wear contact lenses, especially long-term wear contacts. Failure to do so can lead to permanent harm, loss of vision and even complete blindness!