8 Popular Questions About Contact Lens Solution Answered

With all the different types and brands of contact lens solutions available today, you may have many questions about the subject. Lens.com is here to clear up any confusion you might have about contact lens solutions with answers to the 8 most common questions we hear.

  1. What does contact lens solution do?

As you wear contact lenses throughout the day, proteins in your eyes and bacteria and debris from the environment build up on your contact lenses. Contact lens solutions are specially formulated liquids that disinfect your lenses, eliminate bacteria and debris, and help break down protein deposits on your lenses. Contact lens solution is an important part of the care system for your contacts. 

  1. What are the different types of contact lens solution?

The different types of contact lens solution are:

  1. Multi-purpose solution

Multi-purpose solutions clean, rinse and disinfect contact lenses. These all-in-one solutions are the most commonly used care systems for soft contact lenses.

  1. Hydrogen peroxide-based solution 

Hydrogen peroxide-based solutions clean, disinfect, and store contact lenses. Eye care professionals (ECPs) usually prescribe a hydrogen peroxide-based solution if the contact lens wearer is allergic to any ingredients in a multi-purpose solution. 

Hydrogen peroxide-based solutions require the use of a special case that comes with the solution. The case reacts to the hydrogen peroxide and converts it to a saline solution. Without this case, the hydrogen peroxide won’t be converted into saline and will cause stinging and burning to the eyes.

  1. Rigid gas-permeable (RGP) solution

As their name implies, RGP solutions are the care systems used for rigid gas-permeable contact lenses. You cannot use RGP solutions on soft contact lenses. If you wear RGP contact lenses, your ECP will recommend the best care system for you.

  1. Enzymatic protein removers

Enzymatic protein removers get rid of the proteins that build up on your contact lenses. These protein removers are available in either liquid or tablet form. You usually use a protein remover weekly, depending on the type of product you are using. Consult with your ECP before using an enzymatic protein remover. Now with the prevalence of disposable lenses, very few people use protein remover, they just throw out the lens.

  1. Daily cleaning solution

Daily cleaning solutions only clean contact lenses but do not disinfect them. When using a daily cleaning solution, you’ll still need to use another solution to rinse, disinfect, and store your contact lenses.

  1. Saline solution 

You can use a saline solution to rinse your contact lenses only after cleaning them with a different solution, such as a multi-purpose or hydrogen peroxide-based solution.

  1. How do I use a multi-purpose contact lens solution?

Use the “rub and rinse” method when cleaning your contact lenses with solution. Follow these steps:

  1. Always start with the same eye every time you clean or work with your contact lenses.
  2. Put one contact lens in the middle of your palm.
  3. Pour two to three drops of contact lens solution on the lens.
  4. Rub the solution with the tip of your other hand’s index finger using an up-and-down motion. Be careful not to use your fingernail when rubbing your contact lens, as doing so may scratch or damage the lens.
  5. Place the contact lens in the case and add fresh solution.
  6. Seal the case and wait for the recommended time to ensure proper disinfection.
  7. Repeat for the other eye.
  8. When the contacts are disinfected, open the contact lens case, one at a time.
  9. Clean and dry off your fingers and insert the clean lens into your eye.
  10. Repeat for your other contact lens.
  11. Wash and dry the lens case.
  1. What is the best way to clean soft contact lenses?

Always use the “rub and rinse” method when cleaning your contact lenses, even when you’re using a “no-rub” solution. Studies show that rubbing and rinsing is the most effective method for cleaning contact lenses. The “no-rub” method doesn’t get rid of deposits, debris, and bacteria.

  1. What is the best contact lens solution?

Contact lens solutions are available in a wide variety of brands and types, but there is no brand or type of contact lens solution that anyone can consider the “best”. All contact lens solutions have their advantages and disadvantages, and what’s best for you may not be the best for other contact lens wearers.

Using the right contact lens solution will depend on various factors that include your budget, the type of contact lenses you’re using, and whether or not you have allergies. Consult with your ECP about which contact lens care system is best for you. If you experience any adverse reactions or allergies to a specific brand or type of solution, don’t wear your contacts and talk to your ECP immediately so they can recommend a different solution.

  1. Can I use tap water instead of a proper contact lens solution to clean my contact lenses?

No, you can’t. Never use tap water, saliva, or any other liquids to clean your contact lenses. Doing so won’t clean or disinfect your contact lenses. Furthermore, you risk contracting a severe eye infection by cleaning your contact lenses with tap water.

Tap water is clean enough to drink without leading to stomach problems. However, tap water contains a multitude of germs and bacteria that can cause eye infections. Tap water often contains an amoeba called Acanthamoeba. 

This amoeba is common all over the world and isn’t limited to areas with ‘poor’ water treatment. Getting Acanthamoeba in your eyes can lead to Acanthamoeba keratitis, a debilitating eye infection that can cause severe eye pain and even blindness.

  1. How long can I store my contact lenses in solution?

Depending on the replacement schedule of your contact lenses, you can store them inside a tightly sealed case filled with contact lens solution for a maximum of 30 days. Dispose of your contact lenses if they’ve been in solution for more than 30 days. Never wear contact lenses that have been stored for more than 30 days to avoid eye infections.

If your contact lenses have been stored in solution for a significant amount of time, clean and disinfect them with new solution before inserting them in your eyes.

  1. Can I reuse or “top off” contact lens solution?

Topping off means adding fresh drops of solution to the solution already in your contact lens case. You should never reuse or “top off” contact lens solution under any circumstances. The used solution in your case has already been exposed to germs and bacteria, and topping it off with fresh solution won’t change that. Fresh solution mixed with old solution won’t disinfect your contact lenses and will only lead to an eye infection.

Conclusion

After reading this post, you should understand contact lens solutions and how to care for your contact lenses. Just keep in mind that our advice isn’t meant to replace the advice of a licensed eye care professional.  If you’re looking for a new, high-value multi-purpose contact lens solution, check out the biofreshTM multi-purpose contact lens solution on Lens.com.


Resources:

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/glasses-contacts/contact-lens-cleaning-solution-basics

https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/video/video-contact-solution-explained#

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19154280/

https://www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/care-systems.html

https://www.allaboutvision.com/contacts/faq/which-solution.htm

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23392300/

https://www.allaboutvision.com/contacts/faq/solution-how-long/