Users of contact lenses must know the importance of proper eye hygiene. Research performed by Bausch & Lomb this past August showed that an alarming number of individuals regularly use potentially harmful lubricants in place of contact solution to soak their lenses. Everything from baby oil, to lemonade to petroleum jelly was reportedly used as an alternative to proper contact lens solution by twenty percent of the 2,000 adults polled in the UK.
Even more of those queried reported that they use saliva when putting lenses in their eyes. Knowing that the average adult mouth is known to house hundreds of varieties of germs, this is clearly not a good idea. Additionally, many individuals presume that water from a tap or bottle is a safe replacement for lens solution, although even those can contain parasites that can cause eye damage and have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening corneal infection. In fact, if water enters your eyes when swimming or bathing while your contacts are in, it's recommended to take out your lenses as soon as you can and thoroughly rinse them so no microorganisms can get stuck underneath.
Disinfecting your contact lenses is a must and only properly labeled contact lens disinfectants should be used. It's dangerous to keep your contact lenses in water! Storing your lenses in water isn't effective in disinfecting them and harmful microorganisms can gather on your lenses almost instantly and eventually enter your eyes. 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.
At times that you know that you do not have the means to properly disinfect your contacts, you should consider using one-use contact lenses as opposed to lenses that you reuse. You should always take age, daily routine and level of responsibility into consideration when deciding which contact lens options are best for the members of your family.
Before purchasing your first pair of contacts you should make sure you learn proper care guidelines with an eye care professional.
Only those who are capable of understanding the proper way to care for contact lenses and the importance of doing so should use contacts, especially reusable brands. Failure to do so can lead to irreversible damage to the eyes, vision loss and even total blindness!