What to do when you run out of contact lens solution

Wednesday, 17 March 2021 by Vision Direct

A woman looking worried

Running out of solution is a snag most monthly wearers are likely to encounter at some point. Just picture this scene: you're all prepped for bed, teeth brushed, PJs on, and it's time to pop out your lenses. But, wait, your contact lens case is empty, and there's not a drop of solution left in the bottle - the horror! Or, another scenario: you're away for the weekend, escaping the bustle of city life, and then, 'bam', you realise that your eye care kit is missing one major essential.

We get it - the panic is real, and in those situations, your mind will probably turn to seeking out all sorts of hasty and potentially harmful alternatives. Luckily, you've got us to put a stop to that, and provide you with the top dos and don'ts of proper lens care.

Note: When we say solution, we're referring to the multi-purpose type, but there are 2 other main categories:

  • Saline solution: A simple saltwater solution, which is used for rinsing your lenses before inserting them, but is not suitable for cleaning, disinfecting, or storing.
  • Hydrogen peroxide solution: This super-strong solution is ideal for those with sensitive eyes, and should only be used under the guidance of your optician. The process of using it is slightly trickier, as you'll need to neutralise it with an agent to make it safe for your eyes.
A tap with running water

Don't keep your lenses in water

You might think that keeping your lenses in water, just for one night, won't be a problem, but this is a really big no-no! Water, regardless of where it's from, contains bacteria that can cause eye infections. Plus, it's possible that your soft lenses will completely lose their shape when storing or rinsing them in it, too.

Bacteria like Acanthamoeba, for example, is an organism, which is often found in water. If this parasite touches and attaches itself to your lenses, your eyes could become inflamed, and if left untreated, possibly infected with the condition, Acanthamoeba keratitis. Similarly, you should never swim, or shower with your lenses in either, and go for a solution, which will thoroughly disinfect them to keep your eyes healthy.

Don't sleep with your lenses on

Whether it's a quick afternoon nap, or you're heading to bed in the evening, you must always remove your lenses before dozing off. By not doing so, you risk waking up to painfully red and irritated, dry eyes. This is as a result of the contact lenses limiting the oxygen supply to your eyes, causing them to dehydrate. Blinking helps you to produce tears, too, and if you're sleeping, there's obviously zero blinking-action going on. If you do happen to accidentally take a kip with your lenses in, don't panic! Just take your time to gently remove them, and apply eye drops for a much-needed boost of moisture. Our bestseller, everclear Eye Drops will do the trick and swiftly hydrate and soothe even the most sensitive eyes.

everclear REFRESH All In One Solution

Don't make solution yourself

Perhaps desperation has driven you to whip up your own contact lens solution? Unfortunately, there's no way you have the ingredients, or the skills (sorry!) to make this work. You definitely don't want to mess around with your eyes, so just stick to high-quality, fresh solution for disinfecting and storing, from well-known manufacturers with specialist technology and knowledge. Our in-house opticians recommend everclear REFRESH All In One Solution, which is also available as a multipack of 3. This gentle-yet-natural formula, compatible with all types of soft contact lenses, including silicone hydrogel lenses, effectively removes bacteria, protein deposits, build-ups and germs. Other popular picks include Biotrue Multi-Purpose Solution and Opti-Free Puremoist.

What you can do if you don't have solution

Now that you're in the know about what not to do when you're out of solution, the safest and the best way forward is to borrow someone else's. Reach out to a friend, family member, or even a neighbour to make use of their stash, or make an emergency visit to your local supermarket or chemist. Before you go about any of this, however, always double-check that the brand, or type of cleaning solution is compatible with your lenses.

Obviously, it's best to avoid this situation altogether, and if you stick with these tips, you'll never be stuck again - promise!

  • Add multi-purpose contact lens solution to every order: When buying your lenses, just make sure to add some solution to each order, ensuring you have a constant stock to fall back on. You can also sign up for our handy and customisable reminder service, so you never forget.
  • Switch to daily lenses: Dailies offer a hassle-free routine, and require no solution at all! Every day, you simply put in a new, fresh pair, free from deposit build-ups and preservatives, and throw them away before bedtime. If you want to give them a go, just speak to your optician about making the move.
  • Go for extended wear lenses: A suitable and ultra-convenient choice for wearers short on time, these long-term lenses can be worn and slept in for up to 4 weeks, without needing any solution. If you're tempted, chat to your optician first to see if this wearing pattern would work for you.
  • Buy travel-sized solution: Whether you're heading out for the day, or sleeping somewhere overnight, travel-sized solution bottles are perfect for popping in your pocket or bag, like the Renu MPS Multi-Purpose - flight pack. Alternatively, keep up your eye care routine on the go by snapping up a Monthly Contact Lens Essentials Kit, which includes a nifty 60ml bottle of everclear REFRESH All In One Solution.
  • Bring your glasses: There's no harm in carrying around a spare pair of your specs, especially if you're not sleeping at home. This way, you have an alternative, just in case you do forget your solution, or have a problem with your lenses.
A woman making an online order

Order your lens solution online

Forget the faff and order your contact lens solution online from us instead in a few super-quick clicks - we’re all about saving you time AND money. Plus, if you place your order by 11:45pm, you’ll receive your lenses and eye care essentials the very next day! If you spend £59 or more, delivery costs are on us - handy, right?

As there are several different contact lens solutions available, we suggest speaking to your optician to see which one is best for you, and your eyes. From toric lenses for astigmatism to multifocal lenses for presbyopia, we have a solution to match yours. Our super-friendly team of optical advisors are also available to help you with anything you need.

everclear REFRESH All In One Solution

Try everclear REFRESH All In One Solution

A multi-purpose solution, with a gentle and natural formula, everclear REFRESH All In One Solution is an ultra-effective way to clean and disinfect all types of soft contact lenses, including silicone hydrogel lenses. Suitable for wearers with sensitive eyes, this solution swiftly removes harmful bacteria, protein build-us and germs from the surface of your lenses, preventing eye infections and discomfort. Each 250ml bottle is designed to allow an accurate dosage and comes with a nifty lens case for safe and secure storage.

Discover everclear REFRESH All In One Solution

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