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The In’s and Out’s of Contact Lens Solution

Contact lens wearers practice proper eye care.

Research performed by Bausch & Lomb this past summer determined that a large number of individuals were using dangerous chemicals instead of contact lens solution to keep their lenses moist. Substances including baby oil, beer, coke, petroleum jelly, fruit juices, butter and others were all mentioned as occasional substitutes, by one eighth of the two thousand adults that responded in the UK.

Even more of the respondants reported that they have used saliva when inserting their contacts. Since we know that the average adult mouth is known to contain hundreds of different types of bacteria, this can pose a serious health risk to your eyes. Additionally, many individuals think that water from a tap or bottle is a suitable substitute for contact lens solution, however even those may contain microorganisms 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 when swimming or bathing while wearing your lenses, it's advised to take out your lenses as soon as you can and disinfect them so no bacteria can get trapped underneath.

The only liquid that you should use to rinse, sterilize, moisten or soak your contact lenses is approved contact solution. Don't ever keep your lenses in water! Leaving contact 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 lens solution is balanced to compliment the saltiness of the tear film in your eyes and conversely water can cause discomfort or blurred vision since your contacts may stick or change shape.

If necessary storage or cleansing is not possible for you, you should use daily disposable contacts rather than lenses that you reuse. Be sure to consider way of life when you are deciding between daily disposables and reusable contacts.

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 result in permanent eye damage, vision loss and even blindness!