The answer is easy… YES. There IS a difference between saline solution & contact lens disinfectant.
Let’s start with saline solution.
Whether you personally wear contacts or you know others who do, you’ve probably heard them talk about saline solution and needing it for their contact lenses. Saline solution is a salt water solution that should only be used to rinse contact lenses. Some people make the mistake of thinking that saline solution can clean your contacts, but they’re wrong! Saline solution doesn’t clean lenses like a contact lens disinfectant. Storing your contacts overnight in saline solution can open you up to possible eye infections or other irritations. Be sure to avoid homemade saline solution, which can introduce microorganisms into your eye, causing serious trouble. Saline solution should really only be used to gently rinse particles from the surface of a contact lens.
On the other hand…
Contact lens disinfectant is a solution that should be consistently used to store contacts overnight, whether it’s just for a few hours or overnight. This type of solution contains cleansing agents that remove daily buildup from your contact lenses. If buildup isn’t removed, serious eye irritation or infection can occur. Note: Reusing solution rather than replacing solution every night can also allow bacteria and particles to build up on the lens. Don’t be tempted!
Rub & Rinse Method
To make sure you’re making the most of your contact lens disinfectant solution, you could employ the rub and rinse method even if you’re using a no-rub solution. According to the FDA, the rub and rinse method is explained in three steps: after washing your hands, place a contact lens in the palm of your hand, use the index finger of the opposite hand to rub solution over the surface of the lens for 5-10 seconds. Turn your lens over and repeat. Then spray a stream of the solution on both sides of the lens to remove any remaining particles. Repeat with your other lens. This process will help remove more bacteria, proteins and other deposits from your lenses. The rub and rinse method increases the effectiveness of the contact solution because there will be fewer microorganisms to kill once they’re stored in the case.
Now that you know there’s a difference between saline solution and contact lens disinfectant, be sure to check your bottle at home and make sure you’re using disinfectant solution that ISN’T EXPIRED to store your contacts, especially overnight. If you have more questions, contact the optometrist at your Eyeglass World location.