Clear vision, comfort, and convenience – all good reasons why people choose to wear contact lenses. However, when you don’t follow good hygiene habits with your contact lenses, you may experience discomfort and challenges with your contact lens wear. Don’t forget that contact lenses are medical devices! Listen to your eye care professional about proper use and care for a lifetime of successful contact lens wear.1
The Basics of Contact Lens Solution
Think all contact lens care solutions are the same? Wrong! Contact lens solutions are designed for different purposes including cleaning, rinsing, disinfecting and storing. Not all solutions do each of these things. Every contact lens solution is formulated differently to provide different benefits. Be sure to discuss your contact lens solution options with your eye care professional to understand which types of solutions best meet your contact lens care needs.
Four types of contact lens care products are discussed below: multi-purpose contact lens solutions, hydrogen peroxide-based care systems, saline solutions and daily cleaners.
Multi-purpose Contact Lens Solutions
Multi-purpose contact lens solutions clean, rinse, disinfect, and store contact lenses in a one bottle system. Some multi-purpose solutions also recondition contact lenses. Multi-purpose solutions are the most popular method of contact lens care in the United States2. Not all multi-purpose solutions are alike. Make sure to discuss which contact lens care products work best with your lenses with your eye care professional.
Hydrogen Peroxide-Based Lens Care Systems
Hydrogen peroxide-based (HPB) contact lens care systems employ a one-step or two-step process, depending on the product. HPB systems use hydrogen peroxide to kill germs and bacteria for strong disinfection and some systems require a separate step for cleaning.2
Hydrogen peroxide care systems are preservative-free and are often recommended for contact lens wearers who may be sensitive to preservatives found in multi-purpose contact lens solutions2. Contact lenses rinsed in a hydrogen peroxide solution cannot be put in the eye directly without first going through a neutralization process. It is important to follow every step in the product instructions.