The way you clean your contact lens can sometimes affect your vision and health, according to the FDA.
They say to be extra careful if your contact lens solution contains hydrogen peroxide, and to follow specific instructions when using it.
Before using a solution that contains hydrogen peroxide, the FDA encourages you to read all warning labels.
The FDA warns that hydrogen peroxide should never be applied directly to the eye or to contact lens because it can cause stinging, burning, and damage—specifically to your cornea (the clear surface that covers your eye).
If you use a solution that has hydrogen peroxide, they say you absolutely must follow the disinfecting process with a “neutralizer.”
According to the FDA, a neutralizer is always sold as part of your hydrogen peroxide cleaning solution kit. It turns the peroxide into water and oxygen, making it safe to put lenses into your eyes.
Neutralization can be either a one-step or two-step process. The one-step process neutralizes your lenses during the disinfecting stage, while the two-step process neutralizes your lenses after the disinfecting stage, the FDA says
They say some storage cases have a built-in neutralizer, making it a one-step process. With others, you must add a neutralizing tablet that comes with the hydrogen peroxide solution. This is the two-step process.
The FDA has provided the following checklist for solutions with hydrogen peroxide:
- Talk to your eye-care provider before deciding on the best cleaning and disinfecting method for your contact lenses. Never change your lens-care system before consulting your provider.
- Before you use a new solution, read all instructions on the box and bottle and follow them carefully. If you have questions, stop and contact your eye-care provider.
- Never share solution that contains hydrogen peroxide. Other people might confuse your solution with multipurpose solution and not follow instructions. This could result in damage to their eyes.
- Always use the special contact lens case that comes with each new bottle of solution. Never use a case other than the one that comes with each new bottle. (An old case would not neutralize the peroxide, which would cause burning, stinging and irritation when you put contacts in your eyes.)
- Leave contacts in the solution for at least 6 hours to allow the neutralizing process to finish.
- Never rinse your contact lenses with hydrogen peroxide solutions or put these solutions in your eyes.
- Report any eye problems with your contacts or solution to the FDA’s MedWatch voluntary reporting program.
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