Take Care with Clear Care® Cleaning and Disinfecting Solution for Contact Lenses
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices in the US has alerted consumers to use care when
cleaning their contact lenses with any product they have not used before. People who wear contact
lenses may assume that all multipurpose cleaning and disinfecting solutions used for rinsing and
soaking lenses are the same. After all, they are stored side-by-side on supermarket and pharmacy
shelves. However, these solutions are not all the same, and serious injuries can occur if they are
- Figure 1. Clear Care® carton, bottle, and special contact lens case. Special lens holder is placed in plastic case with Clear Care® solution.
Recently, a young woman who was staying at a friend's house noticed a bottle of contact lens
solution in the bathroom. She removed her contacts, placed them in her flat contact lens case, and
added the solution found in her friend's bathroom. The solution was CLEAR CARE®, a lens cleaning
and disinfecting product. To the woman, the product looked like any other contact lens cleaning
solution. The label had a picture of a contact lens on it, and the bottle seemed to be the same
shape and size as other contact lens solutions. The following morning, the woman put one of the
contacts in her right eye and experienced excruciating pain and burning.
The source of the problem was discovered when the woman called her eye doctor, mentioned the
product she had used, and described how she had soaked her lenses with the solution in her flat
contact lens holder. The doctor pointed out that Clear Care® is 3% hydrogen peroxide, which will
cause severe burning if used directly in the eyes or as a soaking agent in typical, flat contact
lens cases. Clear Care® comes with a special case that has a built-in neutralizer. A ring of
platinum in the case reacts with hydrogen peroxide, causes effervescence and changes hydrogen
peroxide into water. Only the special accompanying lens case can be used to neutralize the
hydrogen peroxide. The process takes about 6 hours. After the disinfecting and neutralizing step
is completed, the lenses can be removed from the case and safely placed in the eyes. Contact
lenses must never be rinsed with the hydrogen peroxide solution and placed directly into the eye.
The entire disinfecting and neutralizing step must be completed first. Not doing so can cause
pain, burning, and chemical injuries to the eye, including tissue injuries.
Other reports, similar to the one above, have occurred when patients confused Clear Care® or a
generic hydrogen peroxide product with different cleaning and disinfecting solutions, including
saline irrigating solutions.
SafeMedicationUse.ca wants to inform consumers of the risks if contact lens solutions are not used properly, and offer the following advice.
- Do not assume all contact lens solutions are the same.
- Always read the instructions for use first, before removing your lenses.
- Follow the instructions carefully, step by step.
- Always use the lens case provided with the product.
Take a few moments to make sure you know how to use your contact lens cleaning solution properly.
It could save you from a very painful experience, or even eye damage.