Caring for Your Contacts: Why Not All Solutions are Created Equal

Investing in contact lenses is a worthwhile and necessary decision for many people trying to improve their vision without being encumbered by glasses. Contact lenses can make all the difference for many people with vision problems—if they’re properly cared for.

Contacts are more fragile than glasses and require much more maintenance. No doubt you’ve explained the pros and cons of contact lenses over and over to your patients. No longer are contacts a new alternative to glasses. In many cases, they’re becoming the norm.

But you may find resistance in your patients to contact lenses because when they’ve tried them in the past, they’ve had issues, sometimes serious issues. While it’s hard to quantify just how many people avoid getting contacts or decide to get rid of them because of improper care, teaching your patients how to clean and stay on schedule with their contacts can help dispel misinformation and fill in the gaps of knowledge your patients appear to have concerning contacts.

Which Solution to Use

Contact lens solutions come in many types with many ingredients available. How do you choose which one to use on your lenses? Understand that this decision can be incredibly frustrating for patients, especially those who just invested in new contacts. Having recently spent money on the lenses themselves, as well as getting in to your optometrist’s office, etc., patients don’t want to think so hard about a new expense. They want the ‘best’ solution for them quickly.

There are many solutions to choose from out there, however, and many patients will be tempted to go to Walgreen’s and buy the first contact lens solution bottle they find. But you should caution them against that. No doubt you have a few solutions in mind to recommend to patients who ask for advice, but instead of waiting to be asked or even going right to a few brand names (AVT’s recommended solutions for its contacts here), sometimes explaining why certain solutions are recommended and which aren’t can help patients even more.

Cautions for OTC Solutions

AVT’s contacts are under warranty, and using certain over-the-counter solutions to clean them can void that warranty. Some OTC solutions can also cause problems with the material of the lens, causing them to wear out over time and cause eye irritation. All of AVT’s recommended solutions were selected because they don’t damage the contact material, yet they still clean contacts effectively for all patients.

Explain how the wrong solution can warp the contact lens and leave residue behind that could irritate the eye or worse. There’s a financial angle here, too. By investing in quality contact lens solution, your patients will head off potential problems—much costlier problems—in the future.

Proper Lens Care

Above all, stress how proper contact lens care is the best way your patients will get the most out of their investment. Proper contact care includes not only cleaning, but storage and proper use as well. You probably already have the ‘proper use’ speech down pat for your patients, but consider how patients clean their lenses as well.