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Contact Lens Solutions

Using the right contact lens solution is paramount in contact lens comfort. Using the wrong solution can cause contact lens discomfort and dryness or worse, an eye infection. Knowing which solution is right for you is the hard part.

There are two different types of contact lenses, hard/gas-permeable or soft. Gas-permeable contact lenses are rigid and are made of a silicone mix, soft lenses are a hydrophilic (loves water) plastic, the newest generation of soft disposable contact lenses are silicone based just as the gas-permeable lenses are. Silicone is a very oxygen permeable material and has been the more common soft lens material for the past several years.

Soft lens solutions: Nowadays there a basically two types of disinfecting solution, multi-purpose and hydrogen peroxide based. When you go to the store to buy new solution you may see several shelves of multi-purpose solutions (generic and name brand). For silicone based soft disposable lenses I suggest a few multi-purpose solutions that have worked well. Optifree Pure Moist, AMO Revitalens and Bausch & Lomb Bio-True or hydrogen peroxide based CibaVision Clear Care. I do not suggest generic solutions because these are a copy of an older formulation that sometimes don't work well with silicone based soft lenses.

Gas-permeable lens solutions: The most important gas-permeable lens solution is the cleaner, if your lenses are not clean they are not comfortable. There is not a lot of choices in the gas-permeable solution market and when you go to the store sometimes they are on a lower shelf. For cleaner I suggest Boston Advance cleaner, the Advance cleaner is an abrasive cleaner but less abrasive than the Boston Original cleaner. If used properly, meaning used every day and when the contact lenses are removed (not in the morning) most people don not have lipid protein build-up on their lenses after several months that have to be polished off. A quick note, Boston was bought by Bausch & Lomb several years ago and Bausch & Lomb has their own brand of cleaner which is the same as Boston.For gas-permeable wetting/soaking solutions, again Boston Advance or Original (or Bausch & Lomb), in my opinion they are very similar.

A couple of lesser known solutions that I suggest for gas-permeable lenses are Optimum by Lobob and Progent by Menicon. Optimum is a combination cleaner and soaking solution, it is not an abrasive cleaner like Boston Advance cleaner. Progent is a gas-permeable lens solution made by Menicon, it has been available to consumers for many years in Canada but only available to eye practitioners in the U.S. It is for monthly use and is a combination of two chemicals that are combined just before using it removes even the heaviest protein build-up on lenses. It is only available to purchase online via Menicon with a doctor's PIN that you can get from your eye doctor.

Most importantly, consult with your eye doctor before changing contact lens solutions to be sure they will work well with your brand and also make sure to read the instructions that accompany your solution.


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