Can I Wash Contact Lenses with Tap Water?
No. Tap water is not sterile. It contains microorganisms and bacteria that are not seen by the human eye. If a contact lens is rinsed or soaked in tap water, these microorganisms and bacteria stay on the contact lens. Then, when the contact lens is inserted, the microorganisms and bacteria are trapped against the cornea.
One of the most dangerous microorganisms that is found in tap water is called Acanthamoeba. Acanthamoeba can cause terrible eye infections, and can potentially cause enough damage that the entire eye is destroyed.
You should not be using tap water to rinse or clean your contact lens case either. Contact lenses must be stored in a sterile contact lens case, and if you are using tap water to rinse your contact lens case you could be running the risk of getting an eye infection. Always pour out used solution as it is ineffective after the period of suggested soaking and storage time. After pouring out the old solution, the contact lens case should be rinsed thoroughly with a sterile contact lens solution. Allow the case to dry between each cleaning to ensure disinfection.
Replace the Lens Case Regularly
It is suggested that the contact lens case be thrown away every three months at a minimum to make sure that your contact lenses are getting as clean as possible, and that they are not damaged by an old case that may have become damaged with wear.
When a person wears contact lenses it is that person’s responsibility to be prepared for times when they may need to store their contact lenses without notice, or lose or damage a contact lens. It is important to follow the hygiene and wear schedule recommended to you by your eye care professional in order to make sure that you are keeping your eyes as healthy as possible.
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