Choosing the right Contact lens Solution
A clean contact lens will give good visual acuity, fit and comfort. Monthly wear and biweekly contact lenses that are free from contamination give far less risk of ocular infection.
As soon as a contact lens is placed on the eye it begins to be coated with mucous and other constituents which make up natural tears. This coating is important for lubricity of the lens in the eye. However it also attracts bacteria and other micro-organisms that cause the formation of deposits such as proteins, lipids, mucin and calcium on the lens surface and within its structure. It is important that these are removed prior to daily contact lens storage so that overnight soaking can be more effective. This is why a rub and rinse step and overnight soak are both essential parts of any monthly or biweekly contact lens cleaning regime.
The functions of a contact lens solution are to:
- Keep the contact lens surface is clean and free of any deposits
- Disinfect the contact lens daily
- Prepare the contact lens for comfortable insertion into the eye
Most lens care products on the market are known as multipurpose solutions such as ReNu Multi Plus Solution and All in One Light by Sauflon. These multipurpose lens care products perform all the above functions within one solution. Contact lenses should be stored in the solution for the minimum storage time recommended by respective manufacturer. All lens solutions must be discarded prior to their expiry date. The date should be written in the side of the lens solution bottle. When opened the lens solution should be discarded once it has been open for the maximum recommended time. All lens solution tops must be replaced on the lens solution bottle once used, to prevent any possible eye contamination.
Hydrogen peroxide lens solutions
Hydrogen peroxide lens solutions offer greater levels of efficacy with no preservative in the system. No preservative means that these products are a great choice for patients who suffer from ocular allergies as well as those with tears rich in mucous. Hydrogen peroxide lens should never come into direct contact with the eyes. It first needs to be neutralized. This is done by means of a catalytic disc or a time release catalase enzyme tablet. Both of these are supplied by the manufacturer as part of the product. These neutralize the hydrogen peroxide by breaking it down into the harmless constituents of water and oxygen. During this process of neutralisation the contact lenses get disinfected. The storage time of these lens care products are usually longer than with multipurpose lens solutions.
Here are a few important points that you should know:
- Do not change your contact lens solution without discussing this with your eye care practitioner first
- Discomfort with contact lens wear may be due to an intolerance to a lens care solution rather than intolerance to the contact lens,
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for proper contact lens cleaning and disinfection.
- Use lubricant drops approved for re-wetting contact lenses such as ReNu Re-wetting Drops