Research conducted by Bausch & Lomb in August revealed that a large number of adults were using potentially harmful chemicals instead of contact solution to keep their lenses moist. Products such as baby oil, beer, coke, petroleum jelly, lemonade, fruit juice, butter and others were all mentioned as substitutions that were used, by one eighth of the 2,000 adults surveyed in the United Kingdom.
Even more of the respondants indicated that they use saliva when inserting their contacts. Knowing that the average adult mouth contains hundreds of varieties of germs, this can pose a serious health risk to your eyes. Moreover, an alarming number of individuals assume that tap water, bottled water or distilled water are a suitable alternative for 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 could lead to blindness. Even moreso, if water enters your eyes from a pool, ocean or even a bath while wearing your contacts, it's recommended to take out your contacts as quickly as you can and thoroughly rinse them to rinse away any parasites that may have stuck to them.
The only liquid that you should use to wash, sterilize, lubricate or soak your contact lenses is proper contact solution. It's dangerous to store your contact lenses in water! Leaving lenses in water does not sterilize them and dangerous fungi can grow on your contacts within minutes and eventually enter your eyes. Further, contact 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.
If you know that you do not have the means to properly disinfect your lenses, you should definitely try to use one-use lenses instead of lenses that you reuse. Speak to your optometrist about taking age, way of life and level of responsibility into consideration when deciding which contacts are best for the members of your family.
Prior to wearing contacts be sure to learn proper care guidelines with an eye care professional.
Don't forget failure to properly clean and disinfect your contact lenses with approved contact solution can cause permanent damage to the eyes or even total loss of sight.