Contact Lenses and Finding Cleaning Solutions

I have worn contact lenses since 1969 and I just cannot see myself wearing glasses full-time for many more years yet. Right now I am having a terrible time finding Johnson & Johnson, Acuvue 2 lenses here in Ecuador. The past few months I have searched here in Portoviejo and had friends down in Playas even search there for this brand, no luck! Joe found a site in Canada that all I need is the prescription information, not even a prescription to order on-line and have it shipped to the US or Canada. Now who is making a trip from the US or Canada to Ecuador’s coast in the next several months? (hint, hint – there’s a nice seafood lunch with beer waiting for you at Viviana’s on the beach here from a grateful blogger).

It is also getting more difficult to find cleaning solutions that don’t burn my eyes. They all seem to have such powerful chemicals and each new product cost so much to find out you cannot use it because it burns the crud out of my eyes. I came up with an idea one night while I was unable to sleep. We can buy almost anything from the pharmacy over the counter here so why not buy a bag of saline solution from the pharmacy. So I went out and bought a 1000 ml bag for $2.36. The last contact lens solution I purchased was $15 for the Multi 20/20 for 120 ml. I can no longer find the regular Multi solution and the Solo Care as well as this new one AO Sept burns my eyes so bad they look like I am on a bender – totally bloodshot and it actually burns for hours after putting in my lenses. EDIT made June 5, 2013…A reader Katrina from Vision Direct in the UK commented on the blog. I have used AO Sept incorrectly all this time. The cleaning solution comes with a special contact lens container that has a metal disk in it. This container MUST be used when using AO Sept solution. I found the container and used it last night to soak the lenses, this morning I flushed them well with saline solution and popped them in. First the lenses did not burn my eyes at all, second the lenses are clear and clean to the point of being like new.  I would buy this product again, it works very well if you follow the instructions. Sorry to say I just assumed it was like all other solutions and did not bother to read the instructions. MY BAD! Thank you so much Katrina for you kindness in commenting on the blog article.

San Clemente 5.29.2013 039

I remember when first starting to wear lenses the only cleaning solution was a saline solution and when you cleaned the lenses you used stronger stuff that removed any dirt or makeup from the lenses but then you would rinse and store them in saline solution.

Well I have tried it and it is working great. I will use the expensive cleaning solutions for the cleaning but will store and rinse the lenses with my cheap alternative of saline solution direct from the pharmacy.

Just trying to make what is available work for us.


30 thoughts on “Contact Lenses and Finding Cleaning Solutions

  1. ¿Se podrán encontrar en Quito???. Yo puedo enviárselo desde aquí (tengo una tía oftalmóloga, si es que necesita la receta médica -prescripción-).

    • Esthela,
      gracias por tratar de ver si estos contratos están disponibles en la zona de Quito. Me pondré en contacto con usted en su dirección de correo electrónico. Muchas gracias por su amabilidad, estar bien, Nancy

  2. We will be there in August and have NO problem bringing them for you! Just let us know and we will give the our address here in Canada for shipping. Best bet is to send my hubby and email (Rob Lamontagne- you already have his email address 🙂 ). I love you solution (tee hee) for your solution issue…brilliant!!!! Diane

    • Thanks Diane, I have already gotten an email from Rob. I will let him know if these contact can be purchased in Quito, if not I may be using you to bring back a few boxes from Canada. Thanks again. Nancy

  3. I am going to Canada July 8 and staying about four weeks, then coming back to Ecuador. I live in Cotacachi, so am not sure if this could work?

    • Adrienne, Thanks so much for your offer. I will let you know if I need your help but it looks like I may be able to find them in Quito, if so all I will need to do is have them shipped to me, thanks so much. Nice to have folks that are willing to help. Have a great trip back to Canada and be safe, Nancy

    • John & Mary, lets see if I can find them in Quito, if not I have a few options. Thanks so much for letting me know about Bethany & Larry and Mary & Lou…Nancy

  4. Nancy We are going back for a few weeks in August. Don’t have exact dates yet. Would be happy to bring these back for you if you still need them by then Let me know Linda

    Sent from my iPhone Linda F Irwin

  5. Unfortunately, no plans to come to Ecuador in the near future. But I know what you mean about the burning eyes – I had the same problem. I’ve stopped wearing contacts (long, boring story), but I used plain, STERILE saline solution that came in sort of a spray can. It should be available in the U.S. anywhere that sells contact lens solutions. It’s really convenient and stores for ages because it’s in that vacuum-sealed spray container. Might want to have someone bring you a few of those, too.

    • Hi Sharon, thanks for your comment, if the saline solution that I purchased works out I won’t need to get things from the US. That would make me very happy indeed. Nancy

      • I’m just a little concerned that the saline solution you purchase is clean, but probably not sterile. Especially given the warm temperatures there at the beach, it could act as a bacterial breeding ground over time and you end up with a nasty eye infection. Just want to keep our Nancy healthy so you can keep up your great posts! 🙂

        • Hi Sharon, I have transferred it from the original plastic bag (used for transfusions so I know that it is sterile) Expiration date 2/2016 to the empty Multi container. I assumed that if it was like saline solution in the states it would last for good amount of time…but at 2.68 per bag I can replace it once a month and still be ahead of the game. Thanks for caring and sharing…have a great day! Nancy

  6. I always wondered why Saline solution costs so much when salt and water are both cheap. I wouldn’t think it would go bad if you start with distilled water since they use salt to purify salt water swimming pools and you gargle with salt water to kill germs.

    • Hi Tim, well this must be sterile because it is used for IV’s here but the difference in price from $15 for 120 ml and $2.36 for 1,000 ml is unbelievable. Plus it does not have any of the chemicals in it that cause my eyes to become red and tear. So far it is working, cleaning the lenses with the expensive stuff and storing them and rinsing them with the saline…I would never have done this if I could have easily found the regular Multi solution or something else that worked. Now in the states I am not sure you could just go to the pharmacy and ask for a bag of saline, you may need a prescription for it but you can go on Amazon and find pages and pages of cheap saline solution. HERE not so much ha ha Have a great day, Nancy

  7. AoSept should be used with a neutralising lens case where there is a metal disc inside. Preferably the solution is left overnight. It sounds as if you did not use the contact lens solution correctly from the burning sensation. Please see the link I added to the product and user manual under “description”. Please note Vision Direct ships worldwide but not to Ecuador, I linked so you can read about the product.

    • Kristina, I had no idea that this solution required a special case…No wonder why it was killing me to use it. Thanks so much for clearing that one up….I just went to your site and read the information, thank you for finding the blog, I will update my post to show the information that you supplied. I am sad that you do not ship to Ecuador you have everything that I need. Nancy

  8. Nancy, AO Sept cleans your lenses with hydrogen peroxide, burning stuff but probably cleaned your lenses really well. The other comment is correct, you must neutralize the aosept before putting them in your eye. I would think that you could find good solutions in Guayaquil or in Quito. I’ll check next time I’m there.

    • Hi, I found the lens case that came with the solution. I am going to try it tonight and see how it works cleaning them in the correct case…if they still burn like heck I am going to throw it out…it is way to painful to use, no wonder why if it is hydrogen peroxide…I know I could find good solution in the malls in Libertad as well as Guayaquil but Portoviejo only sells stuff that I have a hard time with. Thanks for your comment, Nancy

  9. Hola amiga, this is CC Adler, u can found all this eye products on Guayaquil with no problems, also if u ever need a MD my brother Is located in Guayaquil he would be very happy to help u guys. Dr. Guillermo Yépez office 303234. Email. saludos

    Sent from my iPhone

  10. I ran out of the Alcon solution I brought from the States, and found only one item in Quito called Solo Care Aqua multipurpose cleaning solution. I’ve been soaking my lenses in it overnight, but find, even rinsed with saline in the morning, it stings badly. Can anyone recommend someplace in Quito that has an equivalent to Alcon Express? Or even something that works without burning the sensitive eyes? I love the sterile saline bag idea….right on! We’ll be in Quito Tuesday the 18th.

    • Hi Rebecca, I also had problems using Solo it burned and made my eyes red. If I were you I would check in the malls at the optical stores. That is where I have had luck in finding Multi solution. If you find the AO Sept it really cleans the lenses after you use it properly. It comes with a special lens case that you fill with AO Sept and leave overnight, there is a small metal disk in the case that neutralizes the peroxide that they use to clean your lenses. I felt no burning at all and my lenses were very clean and comfortable. I hope you are able to find some solution. While at Clinica San Antonio in Portoviejo I stopped in the eye doctors office to get more of the Multi 20/20 they did not have any…it is hit or miss with all of these products. I guess I need to buy a good supply the next time I find what I can use because they often run out and do not have any on order…Enjoy your time in Quito we loved it..Old Town is beautiful, shopping at the Washington Street market is a dream come true and the choices of restaurants is excellent…our only issue is the altitude is just not good for someone with health problems…Enjoy, N

  11. Hi, I am told that you can no longer find any of the hydrogen peroxide type cleaners in Ecuador…AO Sept has been continued and the government issued a directive to remove it from the shelves. seems like a lot of folks did not follow the directions and burned their eyes. Does anyone know if Solocare is still available? Or any other hydrogen peroxide formula? Thanks, Paula

    • Hi Paula, AO Sept is the only one I have used. Since I can no longer get Acuvue 2 here I have just about stopped wearing my lenses. I was switched to Air Optix and they just do not feel right. They feel dry and after just a few hours I need to take them out. Just bitchin a bit…ja ja Nancy

      • Thanks Nancy, AO Sept or any of the hydrogens are sin ingual. The only problem is that I think I will have to keep importing it with my friends as I can’t seem to find any here. That solution IS the key to comfort. I had the same reaction as you when I try to use anything else…saludos, Paula

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