Contact Lens Solutions

Some brands of solutions are much better suited for a particular type of contact lens.

Last Updated: March 11, 2023

Video: Are all contact lens solutions the same? | Dr. Dianna Leong

A large percentage of contact lens wearers cannot recall the brand name of the solution they use to disinfect their contacts. The problem with a random product selection is that all solutions react differently on the contact lens material, leaving the patient susceptible to eye irritation or, in rare cases, corneal ulcers.

All the contact lens solutions on the market today are very effective at killing bacteria and other pathogens on contact lenses. However, some brands of solutions are much better suited for a particular type of contact lens. Contact lens solutions are not considered dangerous but it is the combination of the solution with the contact lens material that may cause the problems if the correct ones are not used together.

A doctor of optometry will assess the compatibility of a contact lens on a patient’s eye by examining the corneal staining pattern with a biomicroscope. If a patient has a high percentage of corneal staining, then they typically would experience an increase in lens awareness and irritation. The chance of developing a corneal ulcer also increases. Research has shown that some contact lens solutions can yield varying degrees of corneal staining depending on the contact lens brand. These findings stress the importance of using the correct brand of contact lens solution recommended by your optometrist. Of particular concern is the use of private label solutions supplied by larger Big Box chain stores. They typically have more compatibility issues.

The incompatibility of contact lenses with solutions could potentially lead to a toxic reaction that is commonly caused by the preservative in the solution. When this occurs, alternative contact lens solutions or even daily disposable contact lenses should be considered. Toxic reactions can also occur by using expired contact lens solution.

It is always best to consult with your doctor of optometry to ensure that your contact lens solution is suitable for use with your contact lens brand.