The first thing that hits your mind for storing contact lenses in absence of the contact lens solution is water. If you also resort to water; STOP! Stop immediately, as contact lenses should never be exposed to water- not even to the tiny droplet! Water carries a rare but horrific parasite “Acanthamoeba Keratitis” that actually feeds on corneal tissues. We advise you to rely on homemade Saline solution for soaking contact lenses instead, when your regular disinfectant is not readily available. "That space between the eye and the contact lens is a place that this little amoeba really likes to live," says Dr. Andy Howard at LaFollette Eye Clinic.
Doctors warns against Acanthamoeba that runs in water. They suggests to never shower, swim or wash face when wearing contact lenses. It is not only the pools that carry the risk but tap water too. The parasite devours cornea way too quickly than you might even think- sometimes it takes even less than 24 hours. Unfortunately, there is no over the counter treatment but removing the eyeball in most of the cases.
When you wash or soak your contact lenses in tap water, acanthamoeba from water can cling to your soft contact lenses that may then transfer to your eyes. In seconds, the parasite gets activated to feed on the tissues. The damage is often fatal leading to complete blindness. The symptoms of Acanthamoeba attacks are:
- Extreme stinging burning sensation
- Light Sensitivity
- White spots on the surface of eye
- Horrific inflammation & redness
According to the Howard; they see about one acanthamoeba keratitis infection every year. This is most common in people who disregard doctors’ suggestions and neglect taking care of their contact lenses. He encourages patients to talk their doctors about the best contact lens solution & contact lens care instructions. He stressed enough on never washing your contact lens cases with water.