A study performed by Bausch & Lomb in August revealed that an alarming number of adults regularly use potentially harmful lubricants instead of lens solution to clean their lenses. Everything from baby oil, to fruit juice to butter was reportedly used as a substitute to actual contact solution by 20% of the two thousand adults that responded in the UK.
Even more of the respondants reported that they have used spit when inserting their contacts. Knowing that the typical adult mouth is known to house 500 to 650 varieties of bacteria, this can pose a serious health risk to your eyes. To worsen the situation, far too many people believe that water from a tap or bottle is a safe alternative for contact lens solution, nevertheless even those may contain parasites that can cause damage to the eye and have been linked to Acanthamoeba keratitis, an infection that threatens your eyesight. Even moreso, if you get water in your eyes from a pool, ocean or even a bath while your contacts are in, it's advised to take out your contacts as soon as you can and disinfect them to rinse off any microorganisms that may have adhered to them.
Sterilizing your contacts is an absolute and only approved lens solution should be used. Never keep your contacts in water! Storing contact lenses in water does not sterilize them and dangerous pathogens can multiply on your lenses almost instantly and enter your eyes once you put them in. In addition, lens solution is balanced to match the acidity of the tear film in your eyes and conversely water can cause discomfort or blurred vision since your lenses may stick or change shape.
At times that adequate care is not possible for you, you should use daily disposable contact lenses rather than lenses that you reuse. You should always take age, lifestyle and level of responsibility into consideration when deciding which contacts are best for the members of your family.
Keep in mind that failure to properly clean and disinfect your contacts with approved lens solution can cause serious eye damage or even total loss of sight.