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Eye Health

Soft-Contact Lenses - Handling, Storage and Solutions

  1. Basic tips - handling and storing your lenses correctly
    • Wash your hands thoroughly - if possible use a soap specifically designed for contact lens wearers such as Ocusoft Hand Soap. Make sure your hands are dried completely using a clean towel.
  2. Solutions:
    • Make sure that you do not allow the tip of your solution bottle to be left uncovered, or allowed to touch your hands or eyes, or any other surface. Such contact can lead to contamination of the solution.
    • Your case should be rinsed with disinfecting solution, and allowed to "air-dry". Do NOT use tap water.
    • Current recommendations call for lens cases to be replaced every month. Inexpensive 12-packs of contact lens cases are available
    • Don't be tempted to switch solution brands without consulting your doctor. Not all solutions are alike, not all work well for all lenses.
  3. Solution Types:
    • Multipurpose Solutions are the most popular choices for soft contact lens care due to their convenience and simplicity. The major multi-purpose brands include:
      1. Opti-Free Replenish. Includes a preservative combination composed of Polyquad and Aldox and a new ingredient "Tear Glyde" designed to condition the lens surface during overnight storage. The manufacturer (Alcon Labs) claims this new formulation extends the comfort of the lens for longer periods that previous multi-purpose solutions
      2. Aquify - Is approved as a no-rub, or can be used to provide a 5-minute disinfection routine (with rubbing and rinsing). Aquify is specifically recommended by many doctors for use with silicone hydrogel contact lenses.
      3. Complete MoisturePlus manufactured by Advanced Medical Optics, and containing similar preservatives to those found in Renu and in Aquify.
      4. Renu Multiplus - not to be confused with the Renu with Moistureloc which has been removed from the market due to concerns about a possible linkage with fungal infections. Also approved for use with silicone hydrogel lenses.
    • Hydrogen Peroxide Systems - The advantage of these solutions compared to multipurpose solutions is that they are generally free from the preservatives that can cause a reaction in people with sensitive eyes. Generally these comprise a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and utilize a separate daily cleaner. The leading brands include:
      • AOSept (Alcon) - currently this product is off the market due to production problems, but it is expected to reappear during the later part of 2006.
      • ClearCare (Alcon) - currently this product is off the market due to production problems, but it is expected to reappear during the later part of 2006.
      • Ultra Care - AMO - similar to the other hydrogen peroxide systems, Ultra Care, this solution is is neutralized with the aid of a compound in tablet form that achieves turns the solution pink on completion of the neutralization.
    • With all solutions, the most important point is to follow the directions given by your doctor and those provided by the solution manufacturer. Properly caring for and cleaning your contacts lenses will add significantly to the comfort and life of your lenses.