A study performed by Bausch & Lomb this past August revealed that an alarming number of individuals were using strange lubricants instead of contact lens solution to keep their lenses moist. Everything from baby oil, to fruit juice to butter was reportedly used as an alternative to proper lens solution by 20% of the 2,000 adults that responded in the British survey.
An even larger number of the respondants reported that they have used saliva when putting lenses in their eyes. Considering we know that the average adult mouth contains 500 to 650 varieties of bacteria, this is clearly not a good idea. Moreover, an alarming number of individuals think that water from a tap or bottle is a suitable substitute for contact lens solution, however even those can contain parasites that can damage the eye and have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening corneal infection. Even moreso, if water enters your eyes from a pool, ocean or even a bath while wearing your lenses, it's recommended to remove your lenses as soon as you can and disinfect them to rinse off any microorganisms that may have adhered to them.
Sterilizing your contact lenses is an absolute and only approved contact disinfectants should be used. Never keep your lenses in water! Keeping your contacts in water does not disinfect them and dangerous microorganisms can grow on your lenses almost instantly and enter your eyes once you put them in. In addition, lens solution is balanced to compliment the saltiness of your tears and water on the other hand can cause discomfort or blurred vision because your contacts may stick or change shape.
At times that adequate storage or cleansing is difficult for you, you should definitely use daily disposable contacts as opposed to lenses that you reuse. You should always take age, lifestyle and level of maturity into consideration when deciding which contact lens options are best for the members of your family.
Before wearing your first pair of contacts be sure you discuss with your optometrist the proper way to care for and store them.
Don't forget failure to properly care for your lenses with proper contact lens solution can lead to severe damage to the eyes or even complete blindness.