A study conducted by Bausch & Lomb in August showed that a large number of people regularly use potentially harmful lubricants rather than lens solution to wet their lenses. Products such as baby oil, beer, coke, Vaseline, fruit juices, butter and others were all mentioned as alternatives used, by 20% of the 2,000 adults surveyed in the United Kingdom.
Even more of the respondants reported that they have used spit when putting lenses in their eyes. Since we know that the typical adult mouth is known to contain hundreds of different types of microorganisms, this is clearly not a good idea. Additionally, far too many people assume that tap water, bottled water or distilled water are a safe alternative for contact solution, but even those can contain parasites that can damage the eye and have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening infection. In fact, if water enters your eyes from a pool, ocean or even a bath while your contacts are in, it's recommended to take out your lenses as soon as you can and thoroughly rinse them to rinse off any microorganisms that may have stuck to them.
The only fluid that you should use to wash, sterilize, moisten or soak your lenses is approved contact solution. Don't ever keep your contacts in water! Storing your lenses in water isn't effective in sterilizing them and dangerous pathogens can gather on your lenses almost instantly and eventually enter your eyes. In addition, lens solution is made to match the acidity of the tear film in your eyes and conversely water can cause discomfort or blurred vision since your contacts may stick or lose their shape.
At times that proper care is not possible for you, consider using daily disposable contact lenses as opposed to lenses that you reuse. Be sure to take into consideration your lifestyle when you are choosing between daily disposables and reusable contacts.
Only those who can understand the proper way to care for contacts and the importance of doing so should wear contact lenses, especially reusable brands. Failure to do so can result in permanent damage to the eyes, loss of vision and even complete blindness!