Products for Contact Lens Cleaning
The use of contact lenses requires a good discipline with regards to its use and care. It is necessary that a wearer should be aware of proper use, cleaning, disinfecting and storage of lenses. Understanding the type of lenses you will use and the appropriate agents for its care is fundamental.
Types of Products for Contact Lens Cleaning
1- DAILY CLEANERS
These are designed only for cleaning. It is usually used by applying few drops on the lens and carefully rubbing the lenses with your fingers. Rinsing, disinfecting and storage will require additional products.
2- MULTIPURPOSE SOLUTIONS
These solutions cover everything from cleaning to disinfecting. It is used as well for rinsing and storage. These solutions are designed to clean and disinfect lenses simply by rinsing and storing.
Though “rubbing” from the usual “rub and rinse” method is not required, your eye care professional might still advise few seconds of rubbing prior to rinsing.
Multipurpose solutions are the easiest to use and also the most popular type of contact lens care solution.
3- HYDROGEN PEROXIDE-BASED LENS CARE SYSTEMS
Hydrogen peroxide-based solutions are very effective disinfectants. But they require more steps to follow when caring for your lenses; additional steps that not a lot of lens wearer would be happy to oblige.
Additional care is also required as hydrogen peroxide is toxic to the cornea, and failure to follow instructions in proper use might lead to contamination of the lenses and injury to the eye.
Depending on the product, hydrogen peroxide-based systems can either be a 1-step or a 2-step process.
1-step:The lens and solution is placed in a special case that converts the hydrogen peroxide into saline over time.
2-step:The lens and solution is placed in a case for a specific time, and then a neutralizer will be added in the case to convert hydrogen peroxide into saline.
Hydrogen peroxide-based lens care systems are preservative-free, which make it a better choice for people who are sensitive to multipurpose solutions.
4- ENZYMATIC CLEANERS
These are designed to remove protein build-up on the surface of the lens. They come in liquid and tablet form, and can be used on a daily or weekly basis depending on the product. If tablets will be used, it is advised to use saline or disinfecting solutions to dissolve the tablet.
The contact lenses should be cleaned and rinsed prior to the use of enzymatic cleaners. The lenses are soaked in the enzymatic cleaners for about 15 minutes. Disinfecting with another product is usually required.
5- RGP LENS CARE SYSTEMS
Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Lens Care Systems are used for hard contact lenses but are very similar to those used for soft contact lenses.
They may come as a single multi-purpose solution, or a combination of several different solutions for wetting, cleaning, disinfecting and storage.
Do not use on soft contact lenses
Cleaning and Disinfecting Devices
As the use of contact lenses became more popular whether for medical or cosmetic use, the need to address non-compliance to lens care also increases.
These devices were developed and designed to clean and disinfect your contact lenses. Guidelines in use and the manner your lenses are cleaned and disinfected depend on the device’s manufacturer.