Hydrogen peroxide solutions and how to safely use them
Using peroxide solution is one of the most effective ways to clean your contact lenses. However, it is necessary to follow a certain procedure, which differs greatly from how we use universal or multipurpose solutions. This is because these solutions contain hydrogen peroxide, which must be handled with care and is harmful before it has been stabilized via a chemical reaction. Thanks to this necessary chemical reaction, peroxide manages to eliminate almost all contaminants. Peroxide solutions are to known to provide a much deeper clean than multipurpose solutions. During the cleaning procedure, the peroxide breaks up proteins and gets rid of bacteria and other deposits on the lens. Because of this natural chemical reaction, which ends up neutralizing the peroxide, these solutions are free from preservatives and quite efficient against allergens.
It is very important that the neutralization process is completely finished. Two-step solutions use two agents to neutralize the peroxide. The most common one-step solutions use a special case containing a catalytic disc. This disc is the most important part of the case. Make sure you never use a case designed for multipurpose solutions. The entire cleaning process lasts at least 6 hours, though this time may vary for different solutions. When the reaction has finished, you’ll stop seeing bubbles inside your case. Now it’s safe to use your lenses again. Never apply peroxide solution directly in the eyes.
Following rules should always be kept in mind when using peroxide solutions
- Peroxide solution should never come in direct contact with the eye. This could cause corneal burns. Burned cells do heal in time, however, any contact should still be avoided at all cost.
- Always use the special case containing the neutralizing disc. This metal disk is usually platinum-covered and will ensure that the chemical reaction for cleaning takes place.
- Do not under-fill or over-fill the case with solution. Make sure your contact lenses are submerged but avoid any risk of leaks. You'll noticed most cases have a line up to which to fill.
- Do not shake or move the case. Leave the case standing somewhere while disinfection and neutralization is happening.
- Do not take the lenses out of the case before the neutralization process has finished, which usually lasts about 6 hours.
- The case should be replaced after extended use. The catalyzing disc loses its efficiency after about 3 months of use.
A step by step guide on how to use peroxide solution
Thoroughly wash and dry your hands.
Check whether the special case contains a neutralizing disc.
Insert the lenses into the basket (which is usually attached to the case's cap). Often, each side of the lens basket is marked with L and/or R in order to differentiate between right and left contact lens.
Close the basket and give the lenses inside a quick rinse with peroxide solution over your sink.
Fill the case exactly up to the indicated line and immediately insert the lens basket. Close the case by screwing it tightly.
Do not fiddle with the case any further and leave it in a standing position. If the solution starts bubbling, everything is going as it should. This process will now take about 6 hours.
Do not touch your eyes if there is residue of peroxide on your fingers. Make sure to thoroughly rinse your hands again.
Once the small bubbles inside the case stop, the process is terminated.
After the neutralization has finished, you can pour out the now neutral and harmless solution, and leave the case to dry.
If you really want to rinse your lenses again before inserting them, please do so either with a saline solution or a multipurpose one. Never use peroxide on the lenses before inserting them!