5 common mistakes you're making with your contact lens solution

Thursday, 21 April 2022 by Vision Direct

Confused person holding a bottle of solution looking shocked

Multipurpose solution is a staple for most reusable contact lens wearers, but often, basic hygiene procedures are overlooked. Here, we share the top 5 ways in which 2 weekly and monthly contact lens wearers might be neglecting their eye care by misusing multipurpose solutions.

Image of contact lens placed in palm of hand

1. Not rubbing your contact lenses before storing them

Often, wearers of contacts will simply pop their lenses in the contact case and leave them to disinfect. To take a proactive approach to cleaning lenses, wearers should rub their contact lenses to remove dirt before storing them in a case.

To do this properly, be sure to clean your hands thoroughly before touching your lenses. Take out one lens at a time. Place one lens in the palm of your hand, and cover it in a drop of your solution. Rub it with your finger for 30 seconds to remove any sediments, debris, and germs. Flip the lens over and repeat the process. Once you have done this, rinse further in a little bit more solution to wash off any little bits of dirt that may have become stuck, and place the lens in a fresh case. Fill the case with solution, and seal tightly. Repeat this process with the other contact lens.

Inline image of contact lens case

2. How you clean your contact lens case

Some wearers of contact lenses don’t wash their cases, or if they do, they use tap water. To add to this, some wearers do not replace their storage case for months at a time. Failure to properly clean cases, and replace them often, will make users more susceptible to eye infections, and can cause lenses to feel more uncomfortable if they become dirty from the case.

If you’re wondering if it's safe to clean and store your contact lenses in water, the answer is no, and this applies to lens cases too. Contact lens cases should not be cleaned with water, as it contains microorganisms that are harmful to the eye. Instead, cases can be cleaned after each use with sterile disinfecting solution, contact lens cleaner, or contact lens solution. To dry the case, use a fresh, clean tissue, and do not air-dry. We advise that you replace your contact lens case every 30 days to avoid contamination.

3. Not storing lenses for long enough

Some wearers of bi monthly and monthly contact lenses only store their lenses for a couple of hours at a time. It is essential that wearers soak their lenses in multipurpose solution for the minimum amount of time outlined by the manufacturer. This ensures that lenses are not only properly cleaned, but remain comfortable throughout wear.

Contact lenses need a sufficient amount of time to be cleaned by the solution. Some solutions require longer storage time to ensure maximum disinfection. For example, Bausch + Lomb’s Biotrue® Multi-Purpose Solution requires 4 hours soak time, while other products can require at least 6 hours.

4. Using expired solution

Another mistake users make is using a solution after it has expired. Yes, contact lenses and solutions expire. You may think that you’re safe to use an expired bottle if it hasn’t been opened, but the integrity of the solution will have been compromised. As with most things, solutions also expire, and need to be used within a certain period of time, both before and after opening.

To combat this, always check the expiration dates on your solution, and do not risk it if it's out of date. To ensure that you always keep on top of this, our optometrists advise that you write the date of opening on the side of the bottle to avoid the risk of using an expired solution.

In addition, when storing lenses in solution, do not reuse solution, or top off old solution with fresh solution, as it has expired and you will be rebathing the lenses in contaminated liquid. This will drastically increase your susceptibility to eye infections.

5. Assuming that all solutions are the same

It's easy to assume that all solutions are the same. Yet, it's important to keep in mind that all solutions are different. Some work for different types of contact lenses, some are of a much higher quality, and some may work better for you than others.

It's important to research which solution works best for you and your lenses, and which ones ensure the longest hydration. In addition to the multi-purpose solution, there are also other types of contact lens solutions: saline solution, a simple salt solution used to rinse contact lenses; hydrogen peroxide solution, which is recommended for wearers with sensitive eyes, but requires more care when using.To learn more be sure to read up on our page about different types of contact lens solutions. To know which is best for you, speak with your optometrist.

Our opticians recommend: Biotrue® solution

Biotrue Multi-Purpose Solution - Single pack

Bausch + Lomb’s Biotrue® Multi-Purpose Solution combines 2 disinfectants to ensure maximum hygiene, and has an innovative protein management system to maintain natural tear protein function. This advanced formula also contains the wetting agent hyaluronan to prevent dryness and ensure additional comfort for soft contact lenses.

Biotrue® comes with a contact lens case. This solution offers overnight disinfection of lenses, with a minimum of 4 hours soak time.

Discover Biotrue now

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