Do you wear contact lenses? Do you enjoy having un-scorched corneas? Then you should look out for Clear Care, a contact lens solution that uses peroxide to disinfect lenses. Used correctly, the peroxide cleans lenses nicely and is neutralized by the time you wake up. When used incorrectly to rinse lenses right before inserting them in your eyes, the product causes chemical burns to the cornea and copious screaming.
Nancy Metcalf at Consumer Reports explains what happened when her daughter borrowed some Clear Care to rinse off her lenses:
My daughter came home for a college break about this time, discovered she’d forgotten her own contact lens solution, and asked if she could borrow mine. Sure, I said absent-mindedly, it’s in the medicine cabinet. The next thing I heard were her screams of pain. She’d used the Clear Care instead of the rinsing solution. She managed to get the lens out quickly, and I helped her position her head directly under the bathroom tap to thoroughly rinse out her eye. Luckily, after a day or so the pain subsided with no permanent damage.
Unfortunately, the bottle lacks a giant yellow label reading “DON’T PUT THIS IN YOUR EYES, DUMBASS,” and mixups happen. The only warnings are a small red bar on the top of the label, and a removable cardboard sleeve around the bottle’s neck.
The staff at Consumer Reports Health found several eye-scorching victims in their very own office, and at least one Consumerist editor has done this as well. (We’re not telling who.) The FDA has also received hundreds of reports of similar mixups.
Be vigilant when borrowing or purchasing contact lens solution. Keep your eyes open. Don’t scorch them.
Don’t rinse your contact lenses with Clear Care, because you’ll burn your cornea [Consumer Reports Health]