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The Icky Stat About Your Contact Lenses

When it comes to your contacts, stick to solution. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

I'll admit, I've definitely dozed off with my contact lenses in, but after hearing these two recent studies I'm about to make a healthy change for my peepers. The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that 99 percent of contact lens wearers don't wear their contacts appropriately and another survey from Bausch + Lomb discovered  20 percent of contact lens wearers have used alternative liquids such as beer (seriously!), baby oil,  coke, petroleum jelly, fruit juice and their own saliva to moisten their lenses.

Creative, yes, but is it safe? Not so much. Here's why – the average adult harbors 500 to 650 different types of bacteria and when you use your own spit to lubricate a lens, that bacteria is going straight to the last place you'd ever want to see it – your eye. Using tap water, juice, or any other kind of substance other than solution has been linked to Acanthamoeba keratitis, a corneal infection that often resists treatment. After Googling what this infection looks like (search at your own risk!) I'm making it a point to take my contacts out every night to soak in a lens-approved solution like Biotrue Multi-Purpose Solution, and to pop in a new pair in when recommended, not when I feel like it and/or lose one.  Follow suit to keep your eyes in check this year, because they're just as important as keeping the rest of your body germ-free. Besides, the only unconventional thing we should be using beer for is this recipe!