The DOs and DON’Ts of contact lens solutions.

While you might think your contact lens solution isn’t a big deal, proper use of solutions can play a significant role in successful contact lens wear.  Today I want to briefly discuss some tips that will help you get the most comfort and vision from your contact lenses.

DO use a multipurpose solution.  Brands such as Optifree, Complete and Biotrue are called multipurpose because they can clean, rinse and disinfect your contact lenses as well be used to store your lenses in.  I have a few patients who have tried to save money buy using saline solution, but that is unsafe because saline does not clean or disinfect your contact lenses.  Saline is only useful for rinsing your lenses.

DON’T switch from brand to brand.  When I encounter a patient who doesn’t stick with one brand their response is “I usually buy whatever is on sale.”  My recommendation is to stick with the brand that is recommended by your eye doctor.  Some brands of solutions may not work well with various contact lens brands.  For example, using Optifree in conjuction with Acuvue Oasys lenses can increase your risk of keratitis (a painful eye inflammation).  In general, both are very good products, but they often don’t work well together.  Use the solution that is recommended by your optometrist.  You are paying for his expertise.

DO use new solution every night.  I do not recommend reusing the solution from the previous day.  This greatly reduces the effectiveness of the cleaning and disinfecting properties of the solution and increases your risk of infection.  Every day you should pour the old solution out of your case and use fresh solution when you remove and store your contacts.

DON’T fill your contact lens case all the way to the top with solution.  Doing so may cause your lens to float at the top and cling to the side of the case where it can get torn when you screw the lid on.  Simply fill the case about 1/2 way with solution to prevent this type of lens damage.  You will also save a bit of money by not using so much solution.

DO clean your lenses by putting a few drops of multipurpose solution on the lens and rubbing the lens between you finger and palm for a few seconds before storing the lens the case.  This is the very best way to clean your contact lenses.  Many solutions used to be labeled “No Rub” but that was a misnomer.  The only way those solutions could have the “no rub” on the box is if you sprayed solution on each side of the lens for 10 seconds.  Most people were fooled into thinking that all they had to do was to remove the lens and place it directly into the solution.  Always rub your lenses with cleaner before storing in the case.

Following these few, simple guidelines will help you enjoy clear and comfortable contact lens wear all day long.

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