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The Do’s and Don’ts of Contact Lens Care

Research performed by Bausch & Lomb this past summer revealed that many people were using strange chemicals instead of contact lens solution to keep their lenses moist. Products including baby oil, beer, coke, Vaseline, lemonade, fruit juice, butter as well as others were all mentioned as alternatives used, by twenty percent of the two thousand adults surveyed in the British survey.

A more worrisome number of the respondants reported that they use saliva when putting lenses in their eyes. Considering that the mouth of the typical adult is known to house hundreds of 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 replacement for lens solution, nevertheless even those may contain microorganisms that can damage the eye and have been linked to Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening infection. Even moreso, if water enters your eyes from a pool, ocean or even a bath while your lenses are in, it's a good idea to remove your lenses as soon as possible and disinfect them to rinse away any parasites that may have stuck to them.

The only liquid that should be used to rinse, sterilize, moisten or soak your lenses is approved contact solution. Don't ever keep your lenses in water! Storing contacts in water does not thoroughly clean them and dangerous pathogens can gather on your contacts within minutes and eventually enter your eyes. Further, contact lens solution is balanced 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.

When proper care is difficult for you, try to use one-use contacts as opposed to resusable lenses. Be sure to think about lifestyle when you are choosing between daily disposables and reusable contacts.

Remember failure to properly care for your contacts with proper contact lens solution can lead to severe damage to the eyes, vision loss and even blindness!