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Contact Lens Solution Problems

What are the types of solutions?

You need to use different solutions for each type of contact lenses. Use only solutions made for your type of lenses.

Gas permeable ("hard") lenses require special cleaners, soaking solutions, and wetting solutions. Wetting solutions are used to moisten the lenses while you wear them.

Soft lenses require many solutions including:

  • daily cleaners
  • disinfecting solutions (either chemicals or hydrogen peroxide, which sometimes includes a neutralizing solution)
  • enzyme cleaners
  • rinsing and storage solutions

What problems can solutions cause?

Solutions can contain different preservatives. If some lenses come in contact with more than one preservative, it can cause a chemical reaction. This can irritate your eye or discolor your contacts.

Some contacts can get discolored if you switch to a product that uses hydrogen peroxide to clean the lenses. Even switching from one brand of hydrogen peroxide cleaner to another can damage your lenses.

Soft contact lenses are the most likely to have problems. But problems can also happen with gas permeable contacts. For example, certain wetting or soaking solutions can make gas permeable lenses gummy.

How can I avoid these problems?

You can avoid nearly all problems by following these guidelines:

  • Use only the solution and disinfecting method your eye care provider recommends.
  • Always read the labels on your contact lens solutions. Follow the instructions carefully.
  • If you see a new product you would like to try, ask your provider first.
Reviewed for medical accuracy by faculty at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. Web site:
Developed by RelayHealth.
Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2011-02-10
Last reviewed: 2010-09-07
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2011 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
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