For every contact lens wearer, a contact lens solution is crucial for their contact lens care regimen. Therefore, it’s equally vital that contact lens wearers have all the important information regarding contact lens solutions.
One of our missions at Lens.com is to provide helpful information to all contact lens wearers. In this post, we’ll answer five of the most common questions that people have regarding multi-purpose contact lens solutions and contact lens solutions in general.
1. Does it matter what type of contact lens solution you use?
Yes, the type of contact lens solution you use matters. Contact lens solutions are liquids that are specially formulated to disinfect contact lenses and remove bacteria and debris. As such, they are one of, if not the most critical aspect of your contact lens care regimen.
Moreover, there are several different types of contact lens solutions, and they each have a distinct purpose. The different types of contact lens solutions are:
- Multi-purpose solution
Multi-purpose solutions can clean, rinse, and disinfect contact lenses. They are all-in-one solutions and are the most commonly used solutions.
- Hydrogen peroxide-based solution
Eye care professionals (ECPs) usually prescribe a hydrogen peroxide-based solution to patients who have sensitive eyes or who are allergic to any of the ingredients in a multi-purpose solution. Like multi-purpose solutions, hydrogen peroxide-based solutions can also clean, disinfect, and store contact lenses.
Patients must be extremely careful with hydrogen peroxide-based solutions. Unlike multi-purpose solutions, the peroxide-based solution can never go directly in the eye. It will sting like you won’t believe.
Hydrogen peroxide-based solutions require a particular case that is usually included with the bottle of solution. The case reacts to the hydrogen peroxide and converts it to a saline solution. Without this particular case, the hydrogen peroxide won’t be converted into saline and will cause stinging and burning to the eyes. Also, be warned. Don’t try to cut the time short for neutralizing the hydrogen peroxide. Give it the full time recommended by the manufacturer or your eyes will sting when you put the lenses in.
- Rigid gas-permeable (RGP) solution
As its name implies, an RGP solution is the solution used for rigid 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.
- Enzymatic protein removers
Enzymatic protein removers get rid of the proteins that build up on your contact lenses, and these protein removers 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.
People who wear daily disposable contact lenses don’t need to use protein removers because they dispose of their contact lenses at the end of the day. The same is true for all the disposable contact lenses on the market today. Only vialed products that are worn for more than a month before disposal require the use of protein removers.
- Daily cleaning solution
Daily cleaning solutions only clean contact lenses but do not disinfect them. You’ll need another contact lens solution to rinse, disinfect, and store your contact lenses. The ‘multi’ in multi-purpose lenses includes ‘cleaning’.
- 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. Also, a good idea if you need to take your lenses out to remove dust or debris during the day. Never, ever, use tap water or saliva. Worst case scenario, throw the lens away and get a new one.
2. Which solution is best for contact lenses?
There is no such thing as the “best” solution for all contact lenses. The solution that is right for you will depend on a variety of factors that include:
- The type of contact lenses you wear
- Any allergies or eye sensitivities you may have
- The replacement schedule of your contact lenses
If you wear soft contact lenses, your ECP will likely prescribe a multi-purpose contact lens solution. You don’t need any contact lens solution if you wear dailies since you throw out your contact lenses, MPS or saline solutions are handy if you need to take out your lenses momentarily during the day.
If you have any allergies or are sensitive to any of the ingredients in a multi-purpose solution, your ECP will prescribe you a hydrogen peroxide-based solution. These solutions are hypoallergenic and don’t contain any preservatives, so they don’t trigger allergic reactions.
If you wear RGP contact lenses, your ECP will prescribe you an RGP contact lens solution.
3. What can be used instead of a contact lens solution?
Nothing. Get used to it. Your eye care depends on your acceptance of this basic concept.
You can only use the type of contact lens solutions that your ECP prescribed. You can’t use any other liquid to disinfect and store your contact lenses. You can use a daily cleaning solution to clean your contact lenses and a saline solution to rinse your contact lenses, but you still need to use a different solution to disinfect and store your contact lenses.
Never use liquids such as water (whether tap, sterilized, or bottled), alcohol, vinegar, saliva, or homemade saline solution on your contact lenses. Doing so will not only damage your contact lenses but most likely lead to a potentially severe eye infection or loss of sight.
4. Can you use water instead of a proper contact lens solution?
No. You can’t use water to clean, disinfect, or store your contact lenses, even if it’s sterilized or bottled water.
Tap water, in particular, can be hazardous to use on contact lenses. Tap water can contain a microscopic organism called Acanthamoeba. Exposure to this amoeba can cause severe eye, skin, or central nervous system infections and result in permanent loss of vision.
Eye exposure to Acanthamoeba can lead to Acanthamoeba Keratitis, a severe infection that often leads to permanent vision loss or visual impairment in the affected eye.
This post aims to answer the most common questions people have about multi-purpose contact lens solutions and contact lens solutions. 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.