Soft contact lenses worn daily and disposed of on a biweekly or monthly basis need to be cleaned every night in a multipurpose solution. In comparison to preservative free saline, a multipurpose solution cleans and disinfects contact lenses. There are various brands of multipurpose solutions that can be purchased over the counter. It is important to use the contact lens solution prescribed by your eye doctor to avoid ocular irritation or potential allergic reactions. It is also necessary to follow proper cleaning instructions, including rubbing each contact lens gently before placing it inside the case.
For some contact lens wearers, a multipurpose solution is not enough. Patients who suffer with dry eyes or need a more aggressive contact lens cleaner are often prescribed a special overnight solution. This type of cleaning method uses a hydrogen peroxide and sodium chloride reaction to help remove proteins and lipids from the surface of a contact lens. It cannot be placed directly into the eye and needs to neutralize overnight. Directions should be followed carefully.
For patients using soft daily disposable contact lenses, a multipurpose solution is not needed since these lenses are not stored overnight. Sometimes it is necessary for a patient to rinse the contacts or store them for a short period, i.e. while napping or showering. For this, I recommend a preservative free saline. This allows the daily disposable contact lens to maintain its comfort by preventing the addition of preservatives into the lens.
Always consult your eye care provider regarding the appropriate cleaning solution for you, and be sure to follow the directions carefully. Book your appointment for contact lens exams and general eye care by the top optometrists of Long Island!