Research performed by Bausch & Lomb in August showed that a large number of adults regularly use potentially harmful substances in place of contact solution to wet their lenses. Everything from baby oil, to beer to butter was reportedly used as an alternative to actual contact solution by one eighth of the 2,000 adults that responded in the British survey.
A larger number of the respondants indicated that they use spit when putting lenses in their eyes. Considering we know that the mouth of the average adult contains hundreds of varieties of bacteria, this can pose a serious health risk to your eyes. Further, far too many individuals believe that water from a tap or bottle is a suitable replacement for contact solution, but even pure bottled water or distilled water can contain microorganisms that can cause damage to 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 from a pool, ocean or even a bath while your lenses are in, it's a good idea to take out your lenses as quickly as you can and disinfect them to rinse away any microorganisms that may have stuck to them.
The only liquid that you should use to rinse, sterilize, lubricate or soak your contacts is approved contact lens solution. It's dangerous to keep your lenses in water! Leaving contact lenses in water does not sterilize them and harmful bacteria can multiply on your contacts almost instantly and enter your eyes once you put them in. Further, contact solution is balanced to match the saltiness of your tears and conversely water can cause discomfort or blurred vision since your lenses may stick or change shape.
When necessary storage or cleansing is difficult for you, you should definitely consider using daily disposable contact lenses instead of resusable lenses. You should always take age, way of life and level of responsibility into consideration when deciding which contact lens options are best for the members of your family.
Only those who can understand how to properly care for contacts and the importance of doing so should use contact lenses, particularly long-term wear contacts. Failure to do so can lead to irreversible harm, vision loss and even total blindness!