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OD Tips: The Right Way to Take Care of Your Contacts

A study performed by Bausch & Lomb this past summer showed that a large number of people are using dangerous substances 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 actual lens solution by 20% of the two thousand adults that responded in the United Kingdom.

Even more of the respondants reported that they have used spit when inserting their contacts. Considering that the typical adult mouth is known to be the home of hundreds of varieties of bacteria, this can pose a serious health risk to your eyes. To worsen the situation, far too many people assume that water from a tap or bottle is a suitable substitute for lens solution, however even those may contain parasites that can cause damage to the eye and have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening infection. In fact, if you get water in your eyes from a pool, ocean or even a bath while your contacts are in, it's a good idea to take out your contacts as quickly as you can and thoroughly rinse them so no parasites can get stuck underneath.

The only thing that should be used to wash, disinfect, moisten or soak your lenses is approved contact solution. Never store your lenses in water! Storing your contact lenses in water does not thoroughly clean them and dangerous bacteria can gather on your contacts within minutes and enter your eyes with the contacts. Further, contact 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.

At times that proper care is not possible for you, definitely use one-use contact lenses rather than lenses that you reuse. Speak to your eye doctor about taking age, way of life and level of responsibility into consideration when deciding which contacts are best for the members of your family.

Only those who are capable of understanding how to properly care for contact lenses and how important this is should use contacts, especially reusable brands. Failure to do so can result in irreversible eye damage or even total blindness.

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