Can You Leave Contacts in Water Overnight?

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While it may be tempting to forgo contact lens solution in favor of water, there are a number of risks associated with leaving your contacts in water overnight.

Bacteria

Tap water contains bacteria. Overnight, this bacteria can settle on your contact lenses and lead to eye infections.

Acanthamoeba Keratitis

Acanthamoeba keratitis is a serious eye infection caused by amoeba--one-celled creatures--that live in water. Storing your contacts in any kind of water, even if it is distilled, puts you at risk for this infection.

No Disinfectant

Water lacks a key ingredient of contact lens solution: disinfectant. Storing your contacts in water will not clean them of bacteria and may, in fact, make bacteria multiply.

Discomfort

After sitting in water, your contacts may change texture and stick to your eye differently, which can be uncomfortable.

Dry Eyes

After a night sitting in water, your contacts will likely feel dry. Although it may seem that water will hydrate your contacts, the opposite is often true.

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