Contact Cleaning Solution: FSA Eligibility
What is contact cleaning solution?
For the millions of people who use contact lenses every day for corrective vision purposes, contact lens solution is essential for the upkeep and cleanliness of their contact lenses. Cleaning these lenses regularly can maintain their visual acuity, remove dirt and protein deposits from their surfaces and disinfect them from bacteria buildup over time. Because contact lens solution plays such a vital role in correcting vision, it is not considered a product designed for "general health" and therefore has a legitimate medical purpose and is eligible for reimbursement (American Academy of Opthalmology).
What are the key ingredients in contact cleaning solution?
Contact cleaning solution ingredient lists vary from brand to brand and because of this, experts advise against mixing together contact solutions as improper mixing may limit the effectiveness of some ingredients. Contact cleaning solutions typically include the following key additives:
Contact lenses typically sit overnight in trays to prepare them for the next day's use. These trays are prone to bacterial buildup, which is why many contact lens solutions contact anti-fungal/anti-bacterial agents to keep the trays as sterile as possible. Boric acid is a common choice and is similar to hydrogen peroxide, but acts in the same way to sterilize contact lens solutions and prevent the growth of microorganisms in the eye.
Contact cleaning solutions also need a light abrasive ingredient to remove small protein deposits that may build up on lenses and could lead to viral or bacterial infections. Typically, these abrasive particles are tiny pieces of silica gel that can effectively clean contacts and prevent further complications.
Some contact lens wearers will have to turn to re-wetting drops and other products to keep their eyes lubricated throughout the day, but many multi-purpose contact lens solution brands also include lubricating agents to attract moisture and enhance comfort whenever the wearer is using them. Common lubricating agents found in contact lens solution include: hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, hyaluronic acid, carboxymethylcellulose, hydroxypropylguar, tetronic, dexpanthenol, sorbitol, and poloxamine.