Contact lenses lay directly on your eye, improve vision, and come in soft and hard varieties. Because they are more comfortable to use than hard lenses, soft contacts are the most common. This eyewear is usually safe as long as they are used and cared for properly. Using the contact lens cleaner that your optometrist suggests is necessary for caring for contact lenses.
Maintaining good contact lens hygiene is critical for ensuring infection-free, healthy eyes. When contact lenses are not being used, they are typically stored in a contact lens solution. However, some contact lens solutions also can clean and disinfect lenses.
What Types of Contact Lens Solutions Are There?
There are three main types of contact lens cleaners.
- Multipurpose solution: Soft contact lenses are frequently stored in multipurpose solution, an all-in-one solution that rinses, disinfects, and preserves contact lenses. For your contacts to be fully lubricated and ready to wear, you must soak them for at least 6 hours. Remember that while multipurpose lens solution generally functions well for contact lens wearers, some formulations might cause side effects, including eye discomfort and redness.
- Hydrogen peroxide-based solution: A hydrogen peroxide-based solution is typically recommended when someone is allergic to a multipurpose solution. It cleans, disinfects, and preserves contact lenses. So that they don’t burn or sting the eyes, hydrogen peroxide-based solutions must be kept in a specific case that turns the liquid into a saline solution.
- Rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses: This type of contact lens solution is mainly silicone-based and does not contain any water.
Different Types of Contact Lens Cleaners
When purchasing contact lens solutions, look for active ingredients, including sodium chloride, poloxamine, and boric acid. Ensure your chosen contact lens cleaner has safe ingredients for the eyes and won’t harm contact lenses. The ingredients should be acceptable for either short- or long-term contact lens storage and effective at cleaning or disinfecting contact lenses.
The 8 best contact lens products are listed below.
Clear Care Plus solution is for all types of contact lenses, including soft, silicone hydrogel, and rigid gas permeable lenses. Lenses are simultaneously cleaned, and daily proteins are removed and disinfected.
Clear Care solution is a preservative-free, practical, and highly effective hydrogen peroxide-based system with exclusive moisture technology. The unique Triple Action Cleaning formula of Clear Care contact solution cleans thoroughly, kills bacteria, and removes dirt and debris by binding to deposits and removing them. The primary function of the unique HydraGlyde Moisture Matrix is to lubricate and moisten silicone hydrogel lenses.
This contact lens solution system is intended for RGP lenses. It cleans your lenses by eradicating proteins and enzymes from their surface, disinfects by eliminating bacteria, and hydrates your contact lenses.
Included with this contact lens solution are:
- a cleaning solution
- a case for storing your contacts
- a conditioning solution, which is designed to prolong the life of your contact lenses
Puremoist Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution from Opti-Free is used for cleaning and storing silicon contact lenses, including weekly and monthly disposables. This multipurpose disinfecting solution for caring for contact lenses uses two different disinfectants to eliminate bacteria that could lead to infection.
In addition, a technology called HydraGlyde Moisture Matrix, which surrounds contact lenses in a layer of moisture, is also contained in the contact solution. This creates a barrier of protection that helps prevent debris from entering the lenses while also making them feel comfortable.
4. Alcon OPTI-FREE Replenish
The multipurpose solution conditions the lenses to hold moisture, adding to comfort. In addition, Alcon develops a barrier in the lens using its TearGlyde reconditioning method to help preserve a tiny coating of the wearer’s natural tears for added comfort and moisture.
A dual disinfection system of Polyquad and Aldox is used to lessen microorganisms in the lenses that could lead to eye infections. The contact lens solution also removes debris and other contaminants that could make the contact lenses seem cloudy.
Only soft contact lenses and silicone hydrogel are suitable with Alcon OPTI-FREE Replenish.
5. Equate Saline Solution for Sensitive Eyes
As a saline-based solution, soft contact lenses can be used with Equate’s Saline Solution for Sensitive Eyes. However, saline-based solutions cannot clean or disinfect lenses compared to multipurpose and hydrogen peroxide-based solutions. Instead, Equate’s Saline Solution for Sensitive Eyes is only made for storing and rinsing lenses, keeping them clean, fresh, and ready for use.
This sterile solution was created with sensitive eyes in consideration and should reduce irritation, dryness, and redness.
6. Opti-Free PureMoist Rewetting Drops
Since you’ll be throwing away your contacts every day if you wear daily contacts, you don’t need to worry about storing them in a disinfection solution. However, this doesn’t mean that your eyes and contact lenses occasionally won’t benefit from a little extra hydration. This contact lens cleaner relieves dryness and discomfort if you’re in a desperate situation.
These rewetting drops hydrate eyes when contact lenses feel “sticky,” and they also have a “gel-like” consistency to prevent users from feeling as though they are merely dripping liquid into their eyes. The drops also include sodium chloride to help rinse your eyes and remove irritants and pathogens, even if you are wearing contact lenses.
These rewetting drops are not intended for overnight contact lens soaking. They are approved for use with contact lenses and serve only to hydrate your eyes.
7. CooperVision Refine One Step
Short-wear soft contact lenses are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with this 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. A platinum and ionic-free disk is included in a barrel case and activates the hydrogen peroxide.
Short-wear contact lenses are changed every 30 days or as the manufacturer directs. CooperVision Refine One Step has a lubricating component and is preservative-free for added lens comfort.
8. Clear Conscience Contact Lens Solution
Clear Conscience Contact Lens Solution is an FDA-approved, thimerosal-, chlorhexidine-, and cruelty-free solution sterilized by filtration rather than radiation.
The lens solution can be used to clean and disinfect daily as it eliminates protein and is appropriate for all types of contact lenses. In addition, it features a lubricant that prevents the lenses from drying out, making it suited for sensitive eyes.
Caring for Contact Lenses
The secret to successful contact lens use is taking good care of your lenses. Any contact lens you take out of your eye must be cleaned and disinfected before reinserting.
Contact lens cleaners come in a wide variety. The option you choose will depend on the type of lens you wear, any sensitivities you may have, and whether or not your eyes regularly form protein deposits. Inquire your eye doctor about the best contact lens cleaner for your situation.
To prevent potentially severe eye infections, take extra care to clean and store your contact lenses properly. The following tips will help you when caring for contact lenses:
- Ensure you read the package insert of the contact lens manufacturer and follow its directions.
- To clean and store your lenses, abide by the instructions provided by your doctor, the contact lens solution manufacturer, and the contact lens manufacturer. Read your instructions to determine whether you need to re-disinfect your lenses before wearing them if you store them in the case for an extended period. For example, if your contact lenses have been stored for 30 days or more without re-disinfecting, never wear them again.
- Keep your scheduled eye exams. Over time, contact lenses may warp, and your cornea may alter its shape. Visit your optometrist regularly to ensure that your lenses fit correctly and that the prescription is appropriate.
- When wearing contacts, avoid taking a shower, going swimming, using a hot tub, or doing anything else that could cause water to splash into your eyes.
- Never sleep with your contact lenses on.
How to Clean Your Contact Lenses
- Before handling your contact lenses, ensure you wash your hands with soap and water and dry them with a lint-free towel.
- No matter what kind of contact lens cleaner you choose, always use the “rub and rinse” cleaning technique. Before soaking your contact lenses, rub them with clean fingers and solution.
- Never wet your contacts in your mouth, as saliva is not a sterile solution.
- Avoid rinsing or keeping contacts in water.
- Use only store-bought saline solutions, and refrain from using homemade solutions.
- Never clean your lenses with saline solution or rewetting drops, as they’re not disinfectants.
- Every time you disinfect and clean your lenses, use a new solution. You should never top off an old solution or reuse it.
- Never transfer contact lens solution to another bottle, as the contact lens cleaner won’t be sterile anymore.
- Ensure no surface touches the solution bottle’s tip. When not in use, keep the bottle securely shut.
How to Care for Your Contact Lens Case
Always keep your contact lens case clean. Never rinse it with tap water; use a sterile contact lens solution regularly to rinse it clean. Finally, open the empty case and allow it to air dry. It is advised by experts to be replaced after three months and immediately if it is damaged.