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Scary Reason You Should Never Wash Contact Lenses With Tap Water

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This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

If you wear contacts, you’re probably very familiar with the rules: Don’t wear them overnight, don’t wear them swimming, always wash your hands before touching your lenses.

And of course, everyone knows you should always wash your lenses with solution.

Even though this is rule is well-known, it’s easy to skip. You could run out of solution, and decide to use tap water for the time being. Or, you could be traveling, and accidentally leave the solution at home.

The truth is that these easy mistakes could cost you your sight. Like this 18-year-old, who nearly died after being diagnosed with Acanthamoeba keratitis. Her eye was being eaten, all because she left her contacts near her sink — and a tiny droplet of water infected the rest of the solution.



The CDC reports that it’s easy for germs to enter the eye because of its permeability. You can get an amoeba just from showering with your contacts, or sitting in a hot tub. Though the infection is rare, it can be life or vision-threatening.

Luckily for that British teen, doctors were able to find the amoeba before it ate her spinal cord.

So, the CDC is recommending to throw out all contacts if they touch water. Even if your tap water is ‘purified’, you’re still at risk.

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