Not all contact solution is created equal. You and your eye doctor have likely spent considerable time choosing your ideal contact lenses, so be sure to spend a little time choosing what products you will use to care for them. This one may have a higher risk for allergic reaction; that one boasts great moisture: you just want to make an educated choice. There are many factors to consider, such as comfort, ingredients, disinfectant strength, soak time, convenience, and price. You must clean and disinfect your contact lenses properly to prevent eye infections, destroy germs, and remove mucus and protein that builds up on your lenses during wear. Make sure you find the best product for you.
What Type of Lens?
Choose a solution made for your contact lens type—this will help narrow down your choices. Do you have soft lenses or rigid gas permeable lenses (also known as GPs or RGPs)? Each requires a different cleaning regimen. Soft contact lenses may require several kinds of solutions. You need a daily cleaner, disinfecting solution, saline, rewetting drops, and possibly a weekly cleaner. Daily cleaner removes residue, while saline rinses the lenses. You need to store your lenses overnight (and any other extended stretches of time when you're not wearing them) in a disinfecting solution that keeps them sterile and pliable. Finally, rewetting solution goes onto the lenses while in your eyes to keep them moist. You can opt to consolidate some of these by buying one bottle of a multipurpose solution that can be used for cleaning, disinfecting, and rinsing. For GP lenses, you'll need a daily cleaning solution. You can rinse them with sterile saline and store in them a rinsing and disinfecting solution.
If you have sensitive eyes or eczema, or if you're prone to allergic reactions, you may want consider a preservative-free hydrogen peroxide contact solution, notes the American Academy of Ophthamology. These are often marked as "PF" on the bottles. Sometimes a solution may work for you for weeks or even months but then start to create sensitivity. Always consult your eye doctor if this happens before changing solutions.
How Do You Know What to Buy?
Your eye doctor will discuss what products are compatible with your contacts, and you should never switch products without consulting your doctor. Brand names and generics may both be fine options for you, but be careful about choosing a store brand just to save money. They are safe and FDA approved, but suppliers or formulations may change from time to time depending on the supplier and manufacturer. The product may not always be the same exact solution every time you buy it.
To reduce your risk of infections, remember to always wash your hands before handling your contact lenses. Also, never use tap, bottled, or even distilled water on your lenses, as this can lead to a possible corneal infection.
For questions or comments, contact Woodhams Eye Clinic.