Hydrogen Peroxide solutions are a great way to clean, disinfect, rinse, and store your contact lenses. They are a great alternative for people who are sensitive to the preservatives in multipurpose solutions, and they are highly effective against corona viruses and acanthomoeba, a free-living amoeba that can potentially cause blindness through infection of the cornea. Hydrogen peroxide on its own can cause stinging, burning, and corneal damage, so you must follow up the disinfecting process with a neutralizer (the bottle that the hydrogen peroxide comes in has a red tip to remind the patient to not put it directly in the eyes). The neutralizer turns the peroxide into harmless oxygen and saline, making it safe to put your lenses back into your eyes. There are two ways to use a hydrogen peroxide solution—a one- or two-step process.
One- and Two-Step Processes: How They Work
The one-step process neutralizes the hydrogen peroxide solution during the disinfecting stage, while the two-step process neutralizes the solution after the disinfecting stage. Some storage cases have a neutralizer built-in, making it a simple one-step process. With other cases, a neutralizing tablet must be added. This is the two-step process. Lenses go in the basket to be rinsed; the basket is then placed in the case or in a cup filled with hydrogen peroxide for cleaning and disinfecting. Regardless of which method you use, the lenses must be rinsed with saline before you put them back into your eyes.
Which Brands/Products Are Available?
Below is a list of the twelve top-rated hydrogen peroxide solutions available on the market. If you are not sure which one is best for you, ask your eye care practitioner to help you make the right decision:
- Alcon Clear Care Original
- Alcon Clear Care Plus with HydraGlide
- Walmart Equate Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaning & Disinfecting
- Rite Aid Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaning & Disinfecting
- Walgreens Sterile Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaning & Disinfecting
- Target Up and Up Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaning & Disinfecting
- CVS Health Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaning & Disinfecting
- GoodSense Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaning & Disinfecting
- Smart Sense Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaning & Disinfecting
How Much Do Hydrogen Peroxide Solutions Cost?
The cost of hydrogen peroxide solution for contact lenses depends on where you purchase the solution, the brand, and the quantity. Most of the solutions listed above can be found in your local store or online for $10 to $20. Others may cost upwards of $100 or more. If you are interested in purchasing a hydrogen peroxide-based solution to clean and disinfect your contact lenses, visit the manufacturer’s web site first.
Typically, they offer coupons and rebates to reduce the cost. Also ask your eye doctor about solutions he or she may offer in-office.
The Difference: Hydrogen Peroxide Vs Multipurpose Solutions
Although hydrogen peroxide and multipurpose solutions perform the same functions (ridding lenses of debris, build-up, etc.) there are a few significant differences between the two. Both products are able to break up protein and lipid bonds to remove trapped debris, but hydrogen peroxide contact-lens solutions are able to penetrate microbial bio-films, something most multipurpose solutions cannot do. Some multipurpose solutions are capable of performing this task, but most cannot. For some people the added step, neutralizing, is a drawback to the one-step multipurpose solution. But hydrogen peroxide does not contain preservatives, which makes it effective and safe for almost all contact-lens wearers, especially those who suffer from allergies or are sensitive to the preservatives found in multipurpose solutions. Plus, hydrogen peroxide is much more effective at battling the corona virus and acanthamoeba keratitis (an eye infection that may cause blindness) than all other types of contact lens solutions. Always consult your eye-care provider before deciding on the best cleaning and disinfecting method for your lenses. Never change your lens-care system before consulting your eye care provider.
Some helpful tips:
- The bottle with the hydrogen peroxide comes with a red tip to remind you not to put it directly into your eyes. If you do, it will burn badly. If this should happen, run to the sink and rinse your eyes with warm water for at least a minute. Once you feel you’ve gotten it out of your eyes, call your eye doctor for guidance.
- Alcon’s Clear Care comes in two varieties: with and without HydraGlide. This HydraGlide is a surfactant or soap that gets extra debris, protein and mucus off contact lenses. Some contact lenses react poorly to HydraGlide ending up with a residual film which can fog vision.
- If you system comes with a disc in the bottom of the lens case, this needs to be replaced every 30 days. This disc contains platinum that converts the Hydrogen Peroxide to saline. After 30 days, the platinum is depleted and Hydrogen Peroxide can remain on the lens and sting your eyes.