What is the liquid in contact lenses?

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As a contact lens wearer, have you ever wondered what the liquid was in the containers each time you rip open a fresh pair of contacts? Is there a difference between the liquid in the containers and the contact lens solution liquid? What about the saline solution- how is that different? Read on as we share with you which fluid contents help make your contact lenses stay pristine over a long period, to ensure your experience wearing lenses a safe, comfortable, and clear one.

Liquids & Solutions

There are various liquids or solutions available in the market concerning the maintenance of silicone hydrogel/soft contact lenses. The following is a quick breakdown of the different essential solutions that are most popular:

  1. Contact Lens Solution

This solution is the most popular in the market, but has a few varying types:

  • Multipurpose or All-In-One

Multipurpose contact lens solution is the most convenient option, as it is used for cleaning, rinsing, disinfecting, and also storing your lenses. Thus, these features make it the go-to choice for busy folks, as you won’t need any other contact lens care products. However, this solution may not be the best option for those with sensitive eyes, due to the fact that they usually have preservatives in them. 

  • Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide solution is for cleaning, disinfecting, rinsing, and storing your contact lenses. Some brands already have a built-in neutralizer to convert the peroxide to water, so it does not sting your eyes. Others require you to add a neutralizing tablet each time you use it. This solution is helpful for those who are sensitive to preservatives but will require extra care to make sure you don’t immediately put the lenses in your eyes. If the solution is not neutralized, you may be dealing with a painful chemical eye injury.

  • Daily Cleaner

A daily cleaner is used for cleaning your contact lenses and is quite popular too. However, this solution does not help disinfect your lenses, and you should have an additional product that you can use to rinse your lenses.

  • Saline Solution

Saline solution is pH-balanced saltwater used for rinsing your lenses before you put them in your eyes. You should not use saline solution to clean or disinfect your lenses. Most contact lens solutions, especially multipurpose ones, include a cleaning agent, making saline solution unnecessary. However, there are still some cleaning solutions that need a saline solution. Saline solutions are used by people with extreme sensitivity to the ingredients in multipurpose solutions. Saline solution is a necessary final rinse prior to insertion in the eye. Most people do just fine with multipurpose solutions alone.

Which solution is in the contact lens packages?

For the longest time, the contact lens packaging solution contained nothing more than buffered saline. However, surfactant and humectant agents were added to the packaging solution as materials and modalities evolved. 

Daily disposable lenses being produced at an Alcon facility.

How is buffered saline solution different than a regular saline solution?

Packaging solutions are saline solutions that have been buffered with either borate or phosphate. These buffers have been used extensively in lens solutions for years to keep the solution’s pH within that normal range to match the normal pH range for tears (6.5 to 7.6).

What surfactant and humectant agents are added and why?

Examples of surfactants and humectants added are polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), or block copolymers. Surfactant and humectant agents are added to increase initial comfort for the wearer with increased wettability and decrease surface tension on the lens upon removing the blister pack, which helps to improve wearing time. 

Different brands of soft contact lenses will have slightly different ratios and contents in their packaging solutions to accommodate the features of each lens. This ensures users will have the best experience and comfort.

Conclusion

Now that you have a better idea and understanding of the different popular contact lens solutions available for the upkeep of your contact lenses, you are better equipped with the knowledge to find the best solution for your lenses. Check out our range of soft contact lenses that you can wear comfortably all day long, whether you are looking for daily disposable lenses or monthly lenses.