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Walter Shurminsky O.D.

Home » News and Events » How Do You Clean Your Contacts?

How Do You Clean Your Contacts?

Research conducted by Bausch & Lomb in August determined that an alarming number of adults regularly use dangerous chemicals rather than lens solution to moisten their lenses. Everything from baby oil, to lemonade to petroleum jelly was reportedly used as an alternative to proper lens solution by 20% of the two thousand adults polled in the survey conducted in the UK.

An even larger number of the respondants reported that they have used saliva when putting lenses in their eyes. Since research shows that the mouth of the average adult is known to house 500 to 650 different types of bacteria, this can pose a serious health risk to your eyes. Further, many individuals think that tap water, bottled water or distilled water are a suitable substitute for lens solution, but even those may contain microorganisms that can cause damage to the eye and have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, an infection that threatens your eyesight. Even moreso, if you get water in your eyes when swimming or bathing while your lenses are in, it's a good idea to take out your lenses as soon as possible and thoroughly rinse them to rinse away any microorganisms that may have adhered to them.

Sterilizing your lenses is critical and only properly labeled lens disinfectants should be used. Never keep your contacts in water! Keeping your lenses in water does not sterilize them and dangerous bacteria can multiply on your contacts in minutes and enter your eyes once you put them in. Additionally, contact solution is balanced to compliment the saltiness of your tears and conversely water can cause discomfort or blurred vision since your contacts may stick or change shape.

At times that you know that you do not have the means to properly disinfect your contacts, try to use one-use contact lenses as opposed to lenses that you reuse. You should always take age, lifestyle and level of responsibility into consideration when deciding which contact lens options are most suitable for you.

Before purchasing your first pair of contact lenses be sure you learn proper care guidelines with your optometrist.

Only those who can understand how to properly care for contact lenses and how important this is should use contact lenses, particularly reusable brands. Failure to do so can result in serious damage to the eyes, loss of vision and even blindness!