When it comes to use of contacts, it is essential to practice proper eye hygiene. Research conducted by Bausch & Lomb in August showed that an alarming number of adults regularly use strange substances in place of contact lens solution to wet their lenses. Substances such as baby oil, beer, coke, petroleum jelly, lemonade, fruit juice, butter as well as others were all mentioned as alternatives used, by one eighth of the two thousand adults that responded in the UK.
Even more of those queried indicated that they use saliva 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 varieties of microorganisms, this is clearly not a good idea. Moreover, many people believe that water from a tap or bottle is a safe alternative for lens solution, nevertheless even those can contain parasites that can cause eye damage and have been linked to Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening infection. In fact, if water enters your eyes when swimming or bathing while wearing your contacts, it's advised to take out your lenses as soon as possible and disinfect them so no bacteria can get trapped to the surface of your eye.
The only liquid that you should use to rinse, sterilize, lubricate or store your contacts is proper contact lens solution. Never keep your lenses in water! Leaving your contacts in water isn't effective in sterilizing them and harmful fungi can multiply on your lenses in minutes and enter your eyes once you put them in. Further, contact lens solution is made to compliment the acidity 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.
If you know that you do not have the means to properly disinfect your contact lenses, use daily disposable lenses rather than resusable lenses. It's important to take age, way of life and level of responsibility into consideration when deciding which contact lens options are most suitable for you.
Keep in mind that failure to properly care for your lenses with approved lens solution can cause irreversible harm or even total vision loss.