Anyone with contact lenses knows that proper care and cleaning is the most important step in preventing infections and other eye-health problems.
It's also important to use those cleaning and care products appropriately. Not doing so can result in serious eye injury. This is especially important when using hydrogen peroxide lens cleaners. You only need to use those incorrectly once to never stray from the directions again.
Before deciding on a cleaning system – typically either hydrogen peroxide or saline multipurpose solution – have a conversation with your eye doctor. One system might be better for you than the other.
Saline multipurpose cleaners are clean, disinfect and condition your contact lenses. The solution is safe if you get it in your eyes or on your skin. They typically have preservatives, so those who are allergic or sensitive to these chemicals may develop problems.
Hydrogen peroxide solutions require a special case that includes a neutralizer. The neutralizer turns the solution into water and oxygen making the lenses safe to put into your eyes. This process generally takes at least six hours so it's best used overnight.
Not using a neutralizer, which will come with your solution kit, can cause stinging, burning and cornea damage. You should never put this solution in a regular plastic storage case. Always use the case that came with your kit.
In 2012 manufacturers began updating their packaging so that warning labels were more clearly visible. The tip of the solution container is also bright red, a clear warning that the solution should be handled with care.
If you do use your lens care products properly and have an adverse reaction, you can file a report with MedWatch, FDA's Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.