If you’re a lens wearer, then you’ve probably encountered the late night run to your local convenience store only to find yourself stuck between two solution bottles. You ponder if the more expensive brand actually makes a difference in eye health, and in a ball of apprehensive jiff, decide to go with the cheaper brand.
Choosing a contact lens solution is important as not all solutions are intended for all contact lens materials. It is critical that contact lenses are effectively disinfected to maintain not only the quality of the lens, but also your health.
If you’re wearing daily disposable contacts like Acuvue, you won’t need as much solution. However, if you’re wearing weekly or monthly contacts, it’s essential you pick the right solution to maintain peak eye hygiene. You can buy contacts for a discount here.
Multipurpose solutions can be used to clean, disinfect, rinse, and store contact lenses. After contact lens use, lenses are rinsed and rubbed before storage. Using the index and thumb, the contact lens is gently rubbed under a stream of solution for 10 seconds on both sides. This prevents any build up of protein or bacteria on the lens and ensures that the lens will be soaked overnight in a clean state.
An advantage of using multipurpose contact lens solutions is that they promote proper care of contact lens in that it is easier to use. Its simple use allows one solution to be used for all steps of the lens cleanse and store process. Multipurpose contact lens solutions are also less expensive than hydrogen peroxide solutions.
Multipurpose solutions may cause irritation and discomfort to lens users with allergies or sensitivity to chemicals.
Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) Solutions
Hydrogen Peroxide is often a strong choice for lens wearers with allergies or sensitivity to solution. Like multipurpose solutions, hydrogen peroxide can be used to rinse and store contact lenses. However, there is a crucial step: neutralization. This step converts hydrogen peroxide to water.
Neutralization occurs by placing the lens into a case that contains a neutralizing disc. This will react with the hydrogen peroxide to neutralize the solution and effectively store the lens. If neutralization does not occur, the solution will burn the eyes as hydrogen peroxide is toxic to the cornea. It is integral to change the case with purchase of every new bottle as the potency of the neutralization disc decreases with use.
Overnight soaking, or at least six hours of soak time, is important to sterilize the lenses.
There are no product recalls associated with hydrogen peroxide and the system is effective. Users who are sensitive to multipurpose contact lens solutions may choose hydrogen peroxide as it is preservative free.
Hydrogen Peroxide based care includes an additional step to the lens care process. The neutralization of hydrogen peroxide solution may seem tedious to wearers and pose cause for risk if not neutralized properly. Eyes exposed to unneutralized hydrogen peroxide are prone to painful injury and must be flushed immediately.
It is important to differentiate between MultiPurpose solution and saline solution. Multipurpose contact lens solutions is a cleaning option to safely clean, disinfect, rinse, and store lenses. This option allows the solution to kill bacteria, remove deposits, rinse debris, and store lenses for up to 30 days.
Saline solution on the other hand is a sterile solution meant to be used with other solutions. Like multipurpose solution, saline solution can remove dirt and rinse contact lenses. Although some may be used to store lenses after the disinfection process, it is usually used with other agents as its main purpose is to rinse and clean. The simple pH-balanced salt water can be used in your daily cleaning regimen, but never a replacement for a disinfectant.
MultiPurpose Solution Brands
Opti-Free Puremoist Multi-Purpose
Opti-Free is a doctor recommended brand. Its easy to use dual disinfectant system is made with HydraGlyde Moisture Matrix allowing for a cushion of moisture between the lens and cornea. This solution is perfect for silicone hydrogel lenses and allows for all day comfort.
Bausch & Lomb Biotrue
Bausch & Lomb is a well-known brand within the contact industry. Biotrue Multipurpose solution matches the pH of natural tears to its solution. Its moisturizing formula is ideal for storage and rinse. These are a good match for lens wearers with dry eyes.
Hydrogen-Peroxide (H2O2) Solution Brands
Clear Care Triple Action is a hydrogen peroxide solution that works for all contacts. Alcon Clear Care deeply cleans lens by removing dirt and protein from the surface without the use of any preservatives.
Saline Solution Brands
PuriLens Plus Preservative Free Saline
If you’re sensitive to chemicals and artificial ingredients, PuriLens Plus Preservative Free Saline is the right solution for you. This solution is preservative free and does not use chlorhexidine. Maximizing comfort, this saline solution is perfect for dry and sensitive eyes.
If you have allergies or sensitivities to any type of chemical and/or preservative, Hydrogen Peroxide (H202) solution may be the right choice for you. Although this solution has reviews of stinging and a care system that tends to be a bit cumbersome, it is a powerful disinfectant when used properly.
MultiPurpose solution is definitely the more popular and easier choice, although it may not be suitable for everyone. Its all-in-one purpose removes buildup on lenses and conditions lenses to be safely stored and hydrated in sterile contact solution overnight. All pharmacy and store-branded contact lens solutions are FDA-approved, but can be formulated from older products. It’s best to stick to your doctor recommended brand to make sure the solution is compatible with your lenses. Communicate with your doctor before making any changes to another brand.
Saline solution is neither a replacement for either of these solutions nor a disinfectant for contact lenses. However, saline solution is a sterile solution that can be used to simply rinse lenses before wear. Daily protein remover may also be an option for those looking to supplement their cleaning process. This liquid removes protein from lenses but must be used after cleaning and in conjunction with multipurpose solution.
On the flip side, if you wear extended wear contacts, are not keen on cleaning your contacts often, and/or find yourself getting an eye infection every so often, consider converting to a daily disposable brand like Acuvue to save money on solution and time on your cleaning regimen.
Looking for affordable contacts? Check out our Simple Contacts Review for the simplest way to buy contact lenses online.