Importance of Good Contact Lens Care Habits
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 and disinfect 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 States.2 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 solutions.2 However, it is important to follow every step in the product instructions.
Saline solutions are mainly used for rinsing and storing contact lenses when you’re using a heat or UV disinfection system. Saline solutions are not indicated or meant for disinfecting contacts.
A daily cleaner is used to clean contact lenses prior to disinfection. Daily cleaners are not indicated or meant to disinfect contact lenses so you will be required to use additional products.3
1. American Optometric Association, What You Need to Know About Lens Hygiene and Compliance.http://www.aoa.org/x8024.xml. Accessed on April 4, 2013.
2. AllAboutVision.com. Which Contact Solution is Best? http://www.allaboutvision.com/contacts/faq/which-solution.htm. Accessed on April 4, 2013.
3. Contact Lens Spectrum, We Need Daily Lens Cleaners. http://www.clspectrum.com/articleviewer.aspx?articleid=106642. Accessed on April 2, 2013.