I wore contact lenses for years and can honestly say I did not know that water and contact lenses were a bad combination. There were definitely times when my contacts were bugging me and I didn’t have any solution and tried rinsing them with water. This always made my eyes very sore and uncomfortable and I’d always end up just taking them out. After reading an article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I now know why this was the case.
Apparently water in any form, be it showering, swimming, hot tub, etc. is a bad combination when it comes to contacts. Water can cause soft contacts to change shape, swell, and/or stick to the eye. This can be very uncomfortable and can scratch the cornea. If there’s a scratch in your cornea, then it’s easier for germs to enter the eye and cause infection.
Should water touch your contact lenses, take them out as soon as possible. Throw them away or disinfect them overnight before wearing again. Never store your contacts in water, not even tape water.