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Proper contact lens care is important to maintaining eye health and guarding against infection. There are several products that can be used to care for contact lenses, one of the most common being the contact lens solution. Contact lens solution has traditionally been used to store contact lenses when not in use, but some contact lens solutions can also clean and disinfect contact lenses.
There are three main types of contact lens solutions: multipurpose solution, hydrogen peroxide solution, and rigid gas-permeable solution. A multipurpose solution is a versatile solution that washes, disinfects, and stores contact lenses, and is commonly used to store soft contact lenses. Hydrogen peroxide solution cleans, disinfects, and stores contact lenses and is traditionally prescribed for allergies to multipurpose solutions. Hydrogen peroxide-based solutions should be stored in a special case that turns the liquid into saline so that it does not burn or sting the eyes. The hard gas permeable solution is specially formulated for hard contact lenses and is intended for storage only, not for cleaning or disinfection.
The correct contact lens solution may depend on the type of contact lens you are wearing. Be sure to work with your optometrist to create a lens care system that meets your unique needs.
Here are the best contact lens solutions on the market.
ReNu's Bausch + Lomb Lens Solution (view on Amazon ) is a great choice for anyone looking for a convenient, moisturizing multifunctional solution that disinfects quickly and effectively. If you have particularly sensitive eyes, choose Biotrue contact lens solution (see Amazon ). Balances comfort and cleanliness while keeping your lenses moist and hydrated.
What to look for when choosing a contact lens solution
Contact solutions kill bacteria with preservatives. '' Preservatives in contact lens solutions kill (bactericidal) or stop the growth of bacteria (bacteriostatic). They enhance the wettability of the lens surface, disinfect the lens, maintain hydration of the lens in the eye, and serve as a mechanical buffer between the eye, lens, and cornea, ”says Elisa Bano, MD, optometrist at ReFocus Eye Health . According to Dr. Bano, the most common preservatives / ingredients are:
- Ethylenediamine tetraacetate (EDTA) – a chelating agent (reduces heavy metals), not an actual preservative
- Benzalkonium Chloride (BAC) : kills a wide range of bacteria and fungi , in combination with EDTA it can be used in lower concentrations.
- Chlorhexidine is bactericidal – when combined with EDTA it is more effective on gas permeable lenses , but not as effective against fungi / yeast.
- Thimerosal is bactericidal – this is a slow-acting ingredient that is ineffective against pseudomonas. Patient sensitivity to this ingredient has been reported .
- Polyaminopropyl biguanide (PAPB) : low sensitivity, used for soft contact lenses .
- Polyquad: low sensitivity
- Benzyl Alcohol – A preservative that kills bacteria.
Different contact lenses are compatible with different contact lens solutions. You can talk to your ophthalmologist to make sure your contact lens solution (and overall contact lens care system) is tailored to your individual needs.
Contact lens shelf life
Different contact lens solutions can store contact lenses for different lengths of time. 'In general, I recommend that if a patient wears glasses only occasionally and therefore stores glasses for a longer period of time, completely change the solution in the case at least once a month, "says Jeff Kegaris, MD, Board Certified Optometrist and Colleague. .. is the author of One Patient at a Time: The K2 Way for Success in Healthcare and Business . 'My first recommendation would be to switch to daily disposable lenses, which are a much better option for part-time wearers. It is also very important to wash the case with soap and water, dry it well and then rinse the inside of the case with a contact lens solution ”.
Frequently asked questions
Some lenses are designed for daily, weekly, or even monthly wear. You must change the solution each time you insert and remove lenses. If you don't wear them for several days, you can keep them in the same solution for as long as your lenses are designed for (daily, weekly, or monthly). If you have additional concerns, always consult an optometrist. The maximum lifespan of the lenses is 30 days.
You must change the contact solution each time you put the contacts on. Never reuse solutions. Carefully follow the instructions on the back of the solution package.
You should not use the contact lens solution as eye drops because saline and chemical cleansers will damage your eye over time. The main function of the solution is to destroy bacteria and other particles of sand and dirt that accumulate on the lenses. Use moisturizing eye drops if you want to apply something directly to the eye for comfort before or after putting in the lenses.
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