For any contact lens wearer, choosing a contact lens solution can be daunting. There are a wide variety of solution types and brands on the market, so it’s understandable if you’re more than a little confused.
Here at Lens.com, we want to help clear some of the confusion when it comes to choosing a contact lens solution product. If you want to choose the best lens solution, follow these five steps.
- Determine the type of contact lenses you wear.
There are various types of contact lenses, and they each require a different care regimen. As such, you need to determine the type of contact lenses you wear before you can choose the right contact lens solution.
After your first eye exam and contact lens fitting, your eye care professional (ECP) most likely advised you which type of contact lenses was best for your needs. If you can’t remember, the simplest way to check is to look at the packaging (if you still have it) of your contact lenses. Another alternative is to call your ECP and ask them directly.
- Compare the different types of contact lens solutions.
Once you know the type of contact lenses you’re wearing, you can start to compare the different kinds of contact lens solutions available.
Here are the types of contact lens solutions people use:
- Multi-purpose solution
This is an all-in-one solution you can use to clean, disinfect, and store your soft contact lenses. Multi-purpose solution is the most common contact lens solution that people use for soft contact lenses.
- Hydrogen peroxide-based solution
You can also use this solution to clean, disinfect, and store your contacts. Consider using a hydrogen peroxide-based solution if you have sensitive eyes or are prone to allergies. Hydrogen peroxide-based solutions contain no preservatives or artificial ingredients, which means they don’t trigger allergic reactions.
When you buy a hydrogen peroxide-based solution, you’ll also get a special case that contains an agent that neutralizes the hydrogen peroxide. You can’t put hydrogen peroxide directly into your eyes. Doing so would sting and burn your eyes. The neutralizing agent makes it safe for you to put the contact lenses back in your eyes, so you can’t use a hydrogen peroxide-based solution without that neutralizer.
- Daily cleaning solution
This type of solution only cleans contact lenses but doesn’t disinfect them. In combination with a daily cleaning solution, you’ll need a separate solution to clean, disinfect, and store your contact lenses.
- Saline Solution
You can only use this solution to rinse contact lenses, which means you’ll need to use a different solution to clean and disinfect your contact lenses first.
* There’s been a DIY trend that extends to wearers looking into wanting to create their own saline solution for contacts. Users must understand however saline solution is not a substitute for multi-purpose solution so the benefit of going to the trouble of making your own solution is limited. Secondly, the need to produce a solution that’s both pH balanced and sanitized can be tricky. Due to the direct eye contact involved with solutions, it’s not recommended to go the DIY route, even with something as seemingly simple as a saline solution.
- Rigid gas-permeable (RGP) solution
You can only use this type of solution if you wear rigid gas-permeable (RGP) contact lenses. RGP solutions aren’t suitable for soft contact lenses.
- Enzymatic protein removers
You can use enzymatic protein removers to eliminate the protein deposits that naturally build up on your contact lenses throughout the day. You can get these protein removers in either liquid or tablet form. You may not need to use protein removers for your contact lenses, so consult with your ECP to make sure.
- Choose a contact lens solution.
With the knowledge of all the kinds of contact lens solutions available to you, you can make a well-informed decision about which one is right for you. You should also consider factors such as:
Multi-purpose solutions may contain ingredients that you are allergic to. Hydrogen peroxide-based solutions are best if you have allergies or sensitive eyes.
There are many brands to choose from, but you can’t consider any of them as the “best” brand. There’s no such thing. Each brand has its price points, uses, ingredients, benefits, and disadvantages.
Some contact lens solutions are pricier than others. Generally, hydrogen peroxide-based solutions are more expensive than multi-purpose solutions. However, using a hydrogen-peroxide contact lens solution is not a requirement. If price is a major concern, then choose a contact lens solution that fits your budget while making sure that you aren’t sacrificing the safety and comfort of your eyes.
- Be mindful of how your eyes feel.
You might need to go through a trial-and-error process when choosing a contact lens solution. You may not get it right the first time, and that’s fine. It’s perfectly normal.
Whichever contact lens solution you choose, it’s crucial you pay close attention to how your eyes feel. For example, If you tried to use a multi-purpose solution and suffered eye irritation, then you may need to switch to a hydrogen peroxide-based solution.
Always prioritize the safety and comfort of your eyes. After all, you can’t keep using a contact lens solution if it causes eye irritation or triggers allergies.
- Consult your eye care professional.
Choosing a contact lens solution is not a decision that you should make alone. Consult your ECP first so that they can work with you and make a recommendation tailored to your history. If your ECP previously recommended a solution that didn’t work, don’t hesitate to let them know. This way, they can help you find other options.
Whether you’re a first-time or a long-time contact lens wearer, following the steps that we’ve outlined in this post will make it much easier for you to choose the right contact lens solution. Just remember that our advice is not meant to replace the advice of a licensed eye care professional.