• Can I use diluted saline for eye drops for RGP lens?


    Question:

    I have RGP hard contacts and am allergic to most all solutions (I use peroxide based cleaning solutions now which work great). Can I use diluted saline for eye drops for RGPs? And if so, what ratio of water to saline should I use? I am allergic to all other rewetting drops I have tried.


    Answer:

    Rigid Gas-Permeable (RGP) contact lenses require more rigorous care than soft contact lenses since they are not disposable. For cleaning the lenses of protein deposits, follow your ophthalmologist's recommendations, but an enzymatic cleaner such as a hydrogen peroxide–based solution is a great choice.

    Artificial tears or rewetting drops can make RGP lenses more comfortable. A key aspect of these drops is they are made in a sterile environment and are free from bacteria. You should not try to make your own saline solution as non-sterile (i.e., tap) water can contain bacteria such as Acanthameoba. These bacteria are very resistant and can form cysts when they enter the eye. There have been multiple outbreaks of severe infections in the past 30 years from people trying to make their own saline solution. If you are allergic to a chemical in various over-the-counter drops, you should ask your ophthalmologist to recommend preservative-free formulations of artificial tears that you may not have tried.


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