Which Contact Solution is Right for You?

November 26th, 2019

There are many different types of contact solutions out there. Here’s a simple guide for choosing the one that’s right for you. 

Over 45 million people in the United States use contact lenses as a convenient and affordable alternative to eyeglasses. Contacts easily move with the eye and offer seamless vision correction for common problems like astigmatism. Since contacts do not fog up and stay in place during physical activity, they are also a great option for people with active lifestyles.  

However, improper contact lens care can lead to eye irritation or infection. The first step to properly cleaning contacts is selecting a contact lens solution, but it can be hard to choose between the many different varieties. 

The two main types of contact solutions are multi-purpose and hydrogen peroxide. Here are some tips to help you select the right one.   

Multi-Purpose vs. Hydrogen Peroxide Solutions

Most contact lens wearers use a multi-purpose solution to clean their contacts. Since multi-purpose solutions both clean and disinfect, users get everything they need in one bottle to keep their lenses irritant-free. 

Multi-purpose solutions are also cheaper and easier to use than most other alternatives. This kind of solution can contain preservatives and other components that may be troublesome for people with sensitive eyes, although most patients can use multi-purpose solutions without any issues.  

Hydrogen peroxide solutions are also popular for their high-quality disinfecting properties. Since hydrogen peroxide is a strong antiseptic, these lens care solutions require extra steps to dilute the liquid enough for everyday use. Eye doctors recommend first cleaning your lenses with a separate cleaning solution and a sterile saline solution before following up with hydrogen peroxide.

In contrast to multi-purpose solutions, hydrogen peroxide solutions are preservative-free and might be better suited for those with sensitivities. However, a multi-step hydrogen peroxide cleansing system can be difficult for people to follow religiously, which leads to a slightly higher risk of eye injury. 

Tips For Cleaning Your Contact Lenses Safely

Regardless of which contact lens solution you choose, there are certain steps you must take in order to clean your lenses safely and prevent eye infection.

Start by washing your hands with non-moisturizing soap and water to make sure you do not transfer any dirt or germs onto the lenses. Dry off with a lint-free towel. Then place one lens in the palm of your hand with a few drops of your preferred solution, and gently massage the lens to dislodge any dirt, makeup, or oil. It is very important to rinse the lens a second time to remove the dislodged debris.

Place the clean lens back in your clean contact lens case with a fresh batch of the solution; do not simply “refresh” your solution by pouring in new liquid over the old. Repeat these steps for the other lens. 

If you wear contacts because you struggle with more serious vision problems like glaucoma or cataracts, you may want to schedule a check-up with ICON Eyecare. Our team of doctors and vision specialists will walk you through treatment options and help you achieve your vision goals. See the world through better, clearer eyes today.