Is The Solution The Solution?

Posted on April 21, 2011 · Posted in Contact Lenses

Multi-Purpose Solution

One of the more common situations we encounter in contact lens care at FirstView is the wearer who experiences the recent onset of discomfort and redness of the eyes while wearing their contacts.  Occasionally, this discomfort is significant enough to prompt the patient to stop wearing lenses altogether until they can come in for evaluation.

A unifying theme among many of these patients is that they recently started a new bottle of contact lens solution which, often, is different than the solution they previously used. Maybe the store didn’t have the solution prescribed by their provider or maybe the patient chose something different based on cost. Regardless, both are a potential recipe for complications.

You might have noticed that I used the word “prescribed” in the above paragraph.  That’s because eye care providers don’t haphazardly choose contact lens solutions for patients. They choose based on a number of factors including patient history, a solution’s disinfecting profile, clinical studies and research, and compatibility with the contact lenses a patient is wearing.

That last one might surprise you, but it’s true:  Some contact lens solutions are not compatible with some contact lens materials.  Use of solutions and lenses that don’t play well together often results in a shortened lens lifespan, reduced comfort, blurred vision, and/or harm to the surface of the eye.

So what is the educated contact lens solution shopper to do?  Stay with what your doctor prescribed.  If you would prefer to change solutions, be sure to discuss this with your doctor so he/she can help you find a compatible alternative. And if you and your doctor decide to change contact lens materials at a future visit, the compatibility of that new material with your current care regimen should be discussed.