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Home » What's New » OD Advice: The Right Way to Take Care of Your Contact Lenses

OD Advice: The Right Way to Take Care of Your Contact Lenses

Contact lens wearers practice proper eye hygiene. Research performed by Bausch & Lomb in August showed that a large number of individuals are using strange lubricants instead of contact solution to soak their lenses. Substances including baby oil, beer, coke, petroleum jelly, lemonade, fruit juice, butter as well as others were all mentioned as alternatives used, by twenty percent of the 2,000 adults that responded in the British survey.

An even larger number of those surveyed reported that they use saliva when inserting their contacts. Knowing that the average adult mouth contains hundreds of varieties of bacteria, this is clearly not a good idea. Moreover, many individuals assume that water from a tap or bottle is a safe alternative for lens solution, but even pure bottled water or distilled water may contain microorganisms that can damage the eye and have been linked to Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening corneal infection. Even moreso, if water enters your eyes when swimming or bathing while wearing your contacts, it's recommended to remove your contacts as quickly as you can and thoroughly rinse them so no microorganisms can get trapped to the surface of your eye.

The only thing that should be used to wash, cleanse, moisten or soak your contact lenses is approved contact solution. Never store your lenses in water! Keeping your contact lenses in water does not disinfect them and harmful microorganisms can gather on your lenses in minutes and eventually enter your eyes. Additionally, lens solution is made to match 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.

At times that you know that you do not have the means to properly disinfect your contacts, you should try to use daily disposable lenses rather than resusable lenses. Speak to your eye doctor about taking age, lifestyle and level of maturity into consideration when determining which contacts are best for the members of your family.

Keep in mind that failure to properly care for your contacts with approved lens solution can result in permanent harm, loss of vision and even complete blindness!