If you are a new contact lens wearer, you might be wondering which of the standard storage methods is best. It is up to your personal preference, as long as the storage method leaves your lenses clean and disinfected. Also, in a pinch, you may need an unconventional way store your lenses so that you can still use them the next day.
The solutions that you store your contacts in can be bought off the shelves of any drug store. Multi-purpose solution is the easiest because it acts as a cleanser, when you rub it on the lens between your fingers, and as a storage solution when you soak your lenses in it. If you use a separate cleanser for your lenses (comes in a small bottle the size of eye drops) you can store them in saline solution, which is much cheaper than the multi-purpose. There is also hydrogen peroxide solution, which must be used with a neutralizing disc or tablet. The neutralizing tablet will bubble for a few hours or overnight, and then the contacts are safe to use. If you take the contacts out of the hydrogen peroxide/neutralizer solution too early, they will sting your eyes.
There are three standard alternatives for contact cases. The first has two tabs, with an L for left and an R for right on them, and you flip them up and open, then place in the solution and lenses. The second type of case has an L and R label and two lids that unscrew to reveal the small pot where you store each contact. The third is for people who use the hydrogen peroxide solution and a neutralizer. This case stands upright and has two plastic cages, under which you fit both lenses. The neutralizer is in a disc on the bottom of the two cages and sends bubbles upward to disinfect the contact lenses. When using any case, make sure it has been cleaned with hot water.
Ultrasonic Contact Lens Cleaning
Ultrasonic contact lens cleaners take the hassle of out cleaning your contacts. You place the contacts in a small chamber, add contact solution and turn the machine on. It is said to clean the contacts with ultrasound waves, which create millions of tiny bubbles. These machines also claim to clean the contacts in two minutes, instead of eight hours with traditional cleaning methods. As of 2011, these machines run $15 and up.
Alternatives on the Run
If you find yourself needing to spend the night somewhere without your contact case, it is best not to store your contacts in water. Because tap and bottled water contain micro-organisms, most vision professionals say it is dangerous to store your contacts in them. You can use clean water glasses, one for the left and one for the right, and buy saline solution, which is usually available at any convenience store.
- glasses image by Joann Cooper from Fotolia.com