Storing contact lenses in the special liquid for lenses is one of the basic care of these. In this way, we ensure that they are not damaged, are clean, are well preserved and are ready to be used. However, sometimes we run out of this liquid and we don't have more, so we think of ideas like this: "Can i put my contact lenses in water?", Either with the idea of leaving the lenses in water overnight or a few days until you can buy it. If you ask yourself "in what liquid can I store my contact lenses?" and you have thought about water to keep them clean and hydrated, keep reading this Green Ecologist article and we will tell you why you should not do it.
The answer to this question is very clear: You CANNOT put your contact lenses in water, even if it is mineral purified. It is also not a good idea to use distilled water for lenses. The reason is simple, because water does not clean well, much less disinfect the lenses, since there are traces of bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms in it.
In the event that it is purified, although at the beginning it is disinfected, shortly after using it and inserting the lenses, it fills up again with microorganisms, especially if it is left for hours. If you wear the lenses after they have been stored in this way, you run the risk of suffering a eye infection, which can lead to loss of vision and even blindness in the worst cases, especially if the infection is not treated properly.
Apart from this, running water, whether tap, bottled, purified or distilled, is also harmful to contact lenses, as it damages them in a way that later they may not adapt well to the eyes or, on the contrary, sticking to the eyeball causing great discomfort, irritation, blurred vision and even damage.
Many people, knowing this, ask themselves the following questions: "What can I replace the liquid in my contact lenses with?" and "Can I put the lenses in saline?", since it is another of the most common liquids that we have at home.
Specifically, there are three types of special liquids for contact lenses: the one-phase solution (monophasic liquid), the monophasic peroxide solution and the specific saline solution for this use. So if you wonder if you can store contact lenses in saline or physiological serum The answer is that you can do it, as long as it is only for a few hours or a day, for example to keep them overnight until you buy specific maintenance liquid.
The reason is that physiological serum or saline solution is a liquid somewhat more similar to our tears than the previously mentioned waters, therefore, they preserve the lenses somewhat better. However, it must be taken into account that it is not the specific saline solution that we have mentioned among the three usual special liquids, so it does not adapt well to the needs of conservation and hygiene. Therefore, it does not preserve the lenses well after several hours and it is not a disinfectant, so microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast or fungi can begin to appear, which will cause eye infections.
In summary, yes you can put the lenses in physiological saline one night at most, or in a homemade saline solution, but you should disinfect contact lenses as soon as you can by acquiring and using one of the special liquids again.
If you are one of those who recycle, something that Ecologist Verde recommends the most, then recycle contact lens case which is made of plastic taking it to the optician's, because in some they do handle this type of waste, or you can take it to a clean or green dot. You can also look at the bottom of the lens case and see if it is marked with the recycling symbol or not. In the event that you have one of those that indicate that it can be recycled, you can deposit it in the yellow container, the one indicated for recyclable plastics; But if it does not indicate it, you cannot throw it in these containers and you can only take them to the points mentioned above so that, in this way, they are managed as waste properly and prevent them from contaminating.
In this other Green Ecologist article we explain which plastics are recycled and which are not, so that you can recognize the symbols on the plastic case of the contact lenses.
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