Research conducted by Bausch & Lomb this past summer showed that an alarming number of individuals are using dangerous chemicals rather than contact solution to wet their lenses. Everything from baby oil, to beer to petroleum jelly was reportedly used as a substitute to actual lens solution by 20% of the two thousand adults surveyed in the British survey.
A more alarming number of the respondants indicated that they use saliva when inserting their contacts. Knowing that the mouth of the average adult contains hundreds of varieties of bacteria, this is clearly not a good idea. Further, far too many people assume that water from a tap or bottle is a safe replacement for contact lens solution, but even pure bottled water or distilled water may contain microorganisms that can cause damage to the eye and have been linked to Acanthamoeba keratitis, an infection that could lead to blindness. In fact, if water enters your eyes when swimming or bathing while wearing your contacts, it's advised to remove your contacts as soon as you can and disinfect them to rinse away any parasites that may have adhered to them.
The only liquid that should be used to rinse, sterilize, moisten or soak your contact lenses is proper contact solution. Never store your contacts in water! Keeping your contacts in water does not disinfect them and dangerous microorganisms can multiply on your contacts almost instantly and eventually enter your eyes. Additionally, lens solution is balanced to compliment the acidity of the tear film in your eyes and water on the other hand can cause a reaction which makes your contacts change shape or stick causing discomfort and blurred vision.
When proper care is not possible for you, try to use daily disposable lenses as opposed to resusable lenses. Be sure to take into consideration your way of life when you are deciding which type of contacts to purchase.
Only those who are capable of understanding the proper way to care for contact lenses and how important this is should wear contact lenses, particularly reusable brands. Failure to do so can result in serious harm or even total vision loss.