Hydrogen Peroxide Contact Lens Care

The Irish Medicines Board recently issued a safety notice aimed at Opticians, Pharmacies, General Practitioners and the General Public.

The notice reminds Opticians and Pharmacists to ensure that they highlight to users of Hydrogen Peroxide based contact lens solutions the importance of reading and following the manufacturer’s Instructions for Use (IFU).

Hydrogen Peroxide is a bleach, which is very effective at killing bacteria and other micro-organisms, but must be neutralised by the manufacturer’s neutraliser before the lenses are reinserted into the eyes. This would be obvious to anyone who is used to this type of care scheme (usually separate Cleaner, Disinfectant and Neutraliser tablet/solution), but there recently seemed to be a case* where someone used the incorrect solution and caused some damage to their eye.

*To be clear, this issue is in no way related to McLeish Optometrists, the supplier was a pharmacy.

It is important to read the instructions on any solutions you use, especially if they are new ones- perhaps you run out on holiday, or your supplier doesn’t have the normal one in stock. Ensure that if you use a multipurpose solution (which is suitable to clean, rinse and disinfect), you do not accidentally replace this with a peroxide based solution.

Best advice would be to use the solution recommended by your eye care practitioner, and do not change it without consulting them. It is also worth noting that solutions which are not suitable to go into the eye often (but not always) have a red tip, so if the squirty part of the bottle is red, or the contact lens is fizzing on your finger…..

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