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Home » What's New » OD Advice: The Proper Way to Care For Your Contact Lenses

OD Advice: The Proper Way to Care For Your Contact Lenses

Contact lens wearers know the importance of proper eye hygiene. Research performed by Bausch & Lomb in August revealed that many people were using strange substances in place of lens solution to clean their lenses. Substances such as baby oil, beer, coke, petroleum jelly, fruit juices, butter and others were all mentioned as alternatives used, by twenty percent of the 2,000 adults polled in the United Kingdom.

A larger number of those queried indicated that they have used spit when inserting their contacts. Considering we know that the mouth of the average adult contains 500 to 650 different types of microorganisms, this is clearly not a good idea. Moreover, far too many individuals assume that water from a tap or bottle is a safe replacement for contact solution, nevertheless even pure bottled water or distilled water can contain parasites that can cause eye damage and have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening corneal infection. In fact, if water enters your eyes when swimming or bathing while wearing your lenses, it's a good idea to remove your lenses as soon as you can and disinfect them to rinse away any microorganisms that may have stuck to them.

Sterilizing your contacts is an absolute and only approved contact disinfectants should be used. Don't ever store your lenses in water! Leaving lenses in water isn't effective in disinfecting them and harmful microorganisms can gather on your contacts almost instantly and enter your eyes with the contacts. Additionally, contact solution is made to match the saltiness of the tear film in your eyes and conversely water can cause discomfort or blurred vision because your contacts may stick or lose their shape.

At times that you know that you do not have the means to properly disinfect your contact lenses, you should definitely consider using daily disposable contacts rather than resusable lenses. Be sure to think about way of life when you are choosing which type of contacts to purchase.

Only those who can understand how to properly care for contacts and the importance of doing so should use contacts, particularly reusable brands. Failure to do so can result in serious damage to the eyes or even total loss of sight.