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Does Contact Lens Solution Expire? 15 FAQs About Lens Solution Answered

It is pretty common to use contact lens solution, eye drops, and saline solution in place of each other. However, they are all different items that contain specific functions. There are so many different types of eye care formulas out there, how do you differ from one another? Can contact lens solution be used as eye drops? Does contact lens solution expire?

In this write-up, we will answer all your frequently asked questions. Let’s explore, shall we?

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

1. Can Contact Lens Solution Be Used as Eye Drops?

The answer is a plain and simple NO. As mentioned earlier, solution, eye drops, and saline solution are three very different eye care products. They all cater to specific eye conditions. If you want to treat dry eyes due to over contact lens usage, just go for rewetting eye drops only. 

Solution, on the other hand, comprises a mixture of cleaning compounds that are purely for washing and disinfecting contact lenses.  These compounds can actually sting if you apply them directly to your eyes. Its job is to protect your eyes from contaminants such as grimes and germs build-up.

2. Is It Safe for Cats’ Eyes?

If you have a pet, be it a dog or a cat, do not ever use contact solutions to treat their eyes. You can use pure saline solution to remove dirt from your pet’s eyes but do not substitute it with a solution for contact lenses.

Simply because most lens solutions contain enzymes or cleaning agents. The best is to always consult a vet to prescribe your pet proper animal-friendly eye drops.

3. What is Solution for Contact Lenses Made of?

What is Solution for Contact Lenses Made of?

Contact lens solution contains disinfecting elements that include hydrogen peroxide, boric acid, and ascorbic acid. Just like the food that we consume, preservatives in contact lenses keep them fresh and longer-lasting. This way, it can be safely used even before its expiration date. 

Saline solution, however, is a simple PH that balances distilled water and sodium. Its function is to keep contact lenses remain soft and hydrated throughout the day


4. Is Contact Lens Solution Poisonous?

The level of toxicity in lens solution will reflect on the eyes of the user who uses it as eye drops. When using the solution as an eye drop, it can result in severe side effects. Sometimes, not only will the active ingredient cause such side effects but the preservative may set off the reaction as well. Examples of said reactions are inflammatory, allergy, or even both. 

Here are some examples of contact solutions that are capable of causing a toxic reaction. 

  • Cleaning solution
  • Rinsing solution
  • Disinfecting solutions
  • Multipurpose solutions
  • Rewetting solutions
  • Artificial tear products

5. How To Use Contact Lens Solution Safely?

If you have sensitive eyes or are allergic to chemicals, try cleaning your contact lenses with a hydrogen peroxide-based solution. This type of solution is preservative-free, usually costing more than a multipurpose solution.

Despite its price, this type of solution does a good job of disinfecting lenses. After disinfecting your contact lenses, you need to neutralize the solution because by doing so, it will transform it into plain saline.

That being said, do not reuse a hydrogen peroxide solution after it neutralizes. This is because its disinfecting properties will be useless and defeat the whole purpose.

To further minimize the risk of infection, change your contact lens case after 30 days.

6. Should You Change Contact Lens Solution Every Day?

Do not reuse contact lens solution that has been soaking your contact lens overnight. By doing so, you put yourself at risk of being infected with various eye problems such as eye ulcers. Even if you are not using your contact lenses on a daily basis, change the solution regularly to ensure the lenses are effectively disinfected.

7. Does Contact Lens Solution Kill Bacteria?

Contact lens solution ensures that your lenses are safe to wear, especially after disinfecting them. Most contact lens solutions contain antimicrobial properties that can kill various pathogens including Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria.

Before a contact lens solution product is released to consumers, it must be able to effectively kill pathogens. If they do, it means that it can effectively keep contact lenses sterilized. 

Recent outbreaks of atypical microbial keratitis have sparked a rethink in terms of how solutions are tested before they become commercially-available. Current testing involves demonstrating efficacy against planktonic or single-cells microbes, while efficacy against biofilms is not required.


8. How to Open a Contact Lens Solution Bottle?

Opening a contact lens solution bottle is easy, really. Start by pushing the flap with your finger or thumb towards the direction that the arrow points at. Once the flap is open, pull it up carefully but make sure to do it in an even manner. That’s it!

9. Do Contact Lens Solutions Expire?

Most solutions are valid for 28 to 30 days, tops after opening. It expires because the preservative it contains loses efficacy after the said period of time. For contact lens solution that is still in the bottle but already opened up, make sure you discard it after the duration of 30 days, no matter how underused it is.

There is also a slight chance that expired contact lens solutions are contaminated with bacteria, which can put your eye health at higher risk. So, look out for the expiration date which you can find on the label of the bottle’s packaging. 

Most contact lens solutions come in rather large bottles so be sure not to use them for an extended period of time, going beyond their expiry date.

Even if the contact lens solution is not opened, it will still expire after a certain period of time.

Read More: Contact Lens Solution Expired? 9 Brilliant Ways to Reuse It!

10. Do Contact Lens Expire in the Solution?

Yes, contact lenses can still expire even when you soak them in contacts solution. The role of a solution is to keep your lenses clean and clear of any kind of bacteria. If you continue soaking expired contact lenses in the solution, it will not make them any safer to use or prolong their expiry date.

11. Can I Use Expired Contact Lens Solution?

We would strongly advise you NOT to use an expired contact lens solution. Using contacts solutions way beyond the expiry date is risky and dangerous because it is very likely already contaminated. This can cause various eye problems such as severe infection, vision loss, or even blindness. So, better think twice before using an expired lens solution.

12. What Contact Lens Solution Should I Use?

There are many factors to consider when choosing a contact lens solution. Some solutions may be better for people with specific allergies or sensitivities. Other solutions may be better for people who wear their lenses for extended periods of time. There are also solutions that are designed to work well with specific types of contact lenses.

There are too many options for solutions, so it is important to read the labels carefully to find one that is right for you. You should also speak with your eye doctor to get their recommendation on which solution would be best for you.

13. Is Contact Lens Solution Safe During Pregnancy?

There is no definitive answer when it comes to whether or not contact lens solutions are safe to use during pregnancy. However, most experts agree that it is generally safe to use these products, as long as they are used as directed. Be sure to read the instructions carefully before using the solution, and if you experience any discomfort after using it, stop using it and speak with your doctor.


14. Is Contact Lens Solution Allowed In Checked Luggage?

Is Contact Lens Solution Allowed In Checked Luggage?

When traveling, it is important to know what items are allowed in your checked luggage. This will help ensure that you do not have to go through the hassle of having to remove items from your bag at the airport. Contact lens solution is generally allowed in checked luggage, as long as it is packed in a quart-sized bag and is placed in a clear, plastic, sealable bag. This will help prevent the solution from spilling or leaking during transport.

Be sure to keep in mind the 3-1-1 rule for liquids when packing your contact lens solution. This rule states that all liquids, gels, and aerosols must be placed in a quart-sized bag and placed in a clear, plastic, sealable bag. These bags can be placed in your carry-on or checked luggage.

15. How Long Does Contact Lens Solution Last?

The average contact lens solution can last for up to two years before it needs to be replaced. This is because the solution contains a preservative that helps to keep it fresh. However, it is important to note that the solution should be used within six months of opening it. After this time, the solution will start to break down and will not be as effective in cleaning and disinfecting your contact lenses.

Every time you disinfect and store your contact lenses, use a clean new contact solution. Never re-use or “top off” any unused contact solution in your contact case.

If you keep your contacts for a long time, be sure to clean and disinfect them with fresh contact solution before putting them in your eyes.

It’s a good idea to keep your contacts in solution for no longer than 24 hours. This is just like food safety: When in doubt, throw it out. Then grab yourself a new pair of glasses to maintain your eyes safe and your vision clear.

Final Thought

In conclusion, contact lens solutions can never replace rewetting eye drops, and vice versa. Its functions differ so be sure to choose the right thing when you feel like hydrating your contact lenses or when you want to treat tired eyes. 

Need a recommendation on which solution or eye drops to use?

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