If you’re wearing contact lenses other than disposable ones, then you’ll need some type of contact lens solution to keep your contacts clean. In today’s post, your local optometrist and eye care specialist at Joel H McGahen, OD shares the basics of contact lens solutions.
Multipurpose Vs. Hydrogen Peroxide
There are two types of contact lens solutions: multipurpose and hydrogen peroxide-based. While they are both used for cleaning contact lenses, they are used differently and one must not be mistaken for the other.
A multipurpose or all-in-one solution is easy to use, and is often the recommended solution for first-time contact lens wearers. All you need to do is wash your hands, put your contacts on your palm, and moisten the lenses with the solution. Many brands of multipurpose solutions are sold as “no rub,” but experts recommend that you gently rub the contact lenses in the solution for about ten seconds to remove remaining debris. After soaking, apply a drop of saline solution to rinse the contacts before wearing them.
A hydrogen peroxide-based solution, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated to use. Your eye doctor will recommend it if you’re sensitive to certain chemicals — multipurpose solutions contain certain substances so it does not “spoil” — or if you’re undergoing eye therapy. Hydrogen peroxide solutions are stronger as a disinfectant; you must not get any on your eyes. To use it, fill your contact lens case with the solution, soak the lenses for six to eight hours, then apply a neutralizer before taking out the contacts. That last step turns hydrogen peroxide to a plain saline solution and makes it safe to wear the cleaned contacts.
Which One Should You Choose?
Each type of solution has its pros and cons. Multipurpose solutions cost less by volume and are easier to use. However, they have a shorter shelf life — which means you have to replenish your supply more frequently — and may not be ideal if your eyes are sensitive to certain chemicals or hardy types of bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide-based solutions are far more effective as cleaning solutions, though you either have to have spare contacts or clean them before sleeping. You also have to make sure that you apply neutralizer after soaking; direct contact with hydrogen peroxide will harm your eyes.
Joel H McGahen, OD is your leading provider of contact lenses and eyeglasses. Give us a call at (717) 470-7496. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve clients in Chambersburg, PA, and the surrounding communities.