Are all contact lens solutions created equal?

Are all contact lens solutions created equal?

cl solution

Any time I see a contact lens user in my exam chair, I always ask what contact lens cleaning solution they use.  Unfortunately, most people remember what shampoo they use, but not their contact lens solution brand.  Why is this important?  There are several reasons…  Some solutions work/interact better with some lenses over others, some solutions have preservatives while others do not, some solutions may be on recall that you may not be aware of, and sometimes you’ve had an allergic reaction to a solution that we would like to know about.  For all the reasons above, it’s always best to ask your eyecare provider about the best contact solution for your eyes and lenses.

Multipurpose contact lens solutions are convenient because the same solution is used to rub, clean, store, and rinse the lens.  There also is also no minimum “soaking” time before they are safe to insert in to the eyes, which is convenient for those who take their lenses out for a quick nap.  The various brands of multipurpose solutions have a different preservative, disinfectant, and wetting agent that will have an effect on the comfort of your lenses.  I usually don’t recommend “generic” brand solutions, mainly because they tend to purchase surplus solution from the major solution manufacturers and it’s difficult for me to know its source.

Hydrogen peroxide based solutions are preservative-free, which decreases the chances of patients having an allergic or sensitivity reaction.  However, lenses need to be soaked for a minimum of 6 hours (to neutralize the peroxide) and the solution can never be put directly into the eyes.  Unfortunately some patients will forget, and the sensation of hydrogen peroxide in the eyes is definitely not pleasant!

The next time you’re picking up new bottles of contact solution, don’t always buy what’s on sale, instead try to stick to what your eye doctor recommended!



Dr. Jessica Chang, OD


Vancouver Kerrisdale Optometrist

Contact Avenue Eyecare to book your appointment today.