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Don't Take Short Cuts With Contact Lens Care, FDA Warns

Solutions with hydrogen peroxide can cause eye damage if two-step process isn't followed carefully

TUESDAY, March 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- If you use contact lens solution with hydrogen peroxide and don't follow the instructions carefully, you could be putting your eyes at risk, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

Hydrogen peroxide contact lens solutions do not contain preservatives. While this makes them a good choice for people who are allergic or sensitive to preservatives, these solutions still pose risks.

Before using a solution with hydrogen peroxide, read all instructions and warning labels, the FDA advises.

"You should never put hydrogen peroxide directly into your eyes or on your contact lenses," Dr. Bernard Lepri, an optometrist in the FDA's Contact Lens and Retinal Devices Branch, said in an agency news release.

Doing so can cause stinging, burning and damage to your cornea, the clear surface that covers the eye.

When using a solution with hydrogen peroxide, it's crucial to follow the disinfecting process with the neutralizer included in the cleaning solution kit. The neutralizer turns the peroxide into water and oxygen so that it is safe to put the contact lenses in your eyes.

Since 2010, the FDA has received 73 reports about problems such as burning and stinging associated with solutions with hydrogen peroxide. In most cases, these problems occurred because users did not follow directions.

Only 12 of the 73 reports were received since 2012, when many solutions with hydrogen peroxide began carrying more visible warnings, the FDA added.

More information

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has more on contact lens care.

SOURCE: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, news release, Feb. 26, 2016

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