Many contact lens wearers experience redness, discomfort, and a general lack of moisture — especially after several hours of wear — but the best contact solutions for dry eyes can make a serious difference. In order to help narrow down the options, I got in touch with ophthalmologist Brian Boxer Wachler, MD, who is a medical reviewer at All About Vision. According to Dr. Boxer Wachler, the best contact lens formulas both include specific ingredients that keep eyes hydrated and skip the additives which may irritate your eyes further.
“Dailies are best for dry eyes because there’s nothing better than getting a fresh, new contact lens every day,” Dr. Boxer Wachler wrote to Bustle. That said, if you prefer weeklies or monthlies (they are more eco-friendly, after all), extra-hydrating ingredients in your solution are paramount: “Hydrating ingredients can range from glycerin, hyaluronan, dextran, hydraglyde, hydroxypropyl, mineral oil, sorbitol, and hydroxypropyl guar.”
Keep in mind that dry eyes may also be caused by sensitivities to certain ingredients and additives. “Some people might be sensitive to the types of ingredients in one brand,” according to Dr. Boxer Wachler, in which case, “there are alternative contact lens solutions” you can try. For those who have extremely sensitive eyes, consider a powerful disinfecting solution that removes more germs and residue from the surface of the lens, which may help to minimize dryness.
Below are Dr. Boxer Wachler’s top three recommended contact solutions for dry eyes.
1. The Overall Best Contact Solution For Dry Eyes
High ratings, a multipurpose disinfecting formula, ample moisture, and an ophthalmologist’s recommendation — this one has it all, which is why it’s the number-one contact solution for dry eyes. “Opti-Free Puremoist is for cleaning and disinfecting contact lenses and has a HydraGlyde moisture matrix,” Dr. Boxer Wachler wrote, so it both kills 99% of germs while also infusing your lenses with a cushion of hydration that lasts all day long. It also creates a barrier around your lenses to reduce irritating deposits, all of which explains its near-perfect overall score of 4.8-stars after more than 14,000 Amazon rating. It also comes in a large range of pack sizes.
One reviewer wrote: “This is the first solution for my contact lenses that has let me be comfortable wearing them all day long without dry eye problems. I would recommend that anybody who has problems with dry eye to give this a try. It's changed my life!”
2. The Fan Favorite
Bausch + Lomb’s Biotrue contact lens solution uses naturally inspired ingredients, and based on customer feedback, it really, really works. “Biotrue has glycerin and hyaluronan which are great moisturizers,” according to Dr. Boxer Wachler. The formula gently hydrates, rinses, disinfects, and stores, which explains why it’s a best-selling solution with over 23,000 reviews and an astounding 4.9 stars overall on Amazon.
One reviewer wrote: “I have been wearing Biotrue contact solution since it came out several years ago but this is the first time I bought it online. It's a much better price on Amazon! I love this solution, I have never ever had dry eyes while using this solution.”
3. The Best Lens Solution For Extra-Sensitive Eyes
“Clear Care is for lens cleaning and disinfecting contacts (not directly moisturizing),” Dr. Boxer Wachler wrote. Still, it “works well for people with sensitive or dry eyes” because it uses the bubbling power of hydrogen peroxide to remove residual debris or germs that may be causing dryness and irritation. The two bottles come with an exclusive lens kit that has a built-in platinum disc, which activates the solution, disinfects your lenses, and neutralizes the formula so it turns into a gentle, hydrating saline solution over the course of several hours. Keep in mind, however, that this solution cannot be used as a quick rinse, as lenses will need to soak for at least 6 hours — or, preferably, overnight — before they can be worn again.
One reviewer wrote: “This is the best contact lens solution on the market for people with sensitive eyes. I'm allergic to the preservatives in regular contact lens solutions so this has been a life saver.”