To look at a bottle of plain contact solution, you may never guess its many off-label uses. This is not to be confused with multipurpose contact solution -- only bottles marked contact solution or saline solution. Even for those who do not wear contacts, a little bottle of this doctor office and hospital staple is a must-have for the household.
Keep an unopened bottle of contact solution in your first aid kit. It can be used to irrigate debris, cleanse wounds, as eye wash, and to sooth burns. This can be done by opening the bottle and spraying the solution directly on the wound until it is free of dirt and contaminates. The opening of the bottle should never come in contact with either the wound or any skin surface. If it does, do not re-cap for later use; it is no longer sterile. Replace with a new bottle if it becomes contaminated.
Saline solution for nasal congestion, sold in most drug stores, is the same solution found in plain contact solution. Used as a nasal wash contact solution, it can help remove mucus from the nose and nasal passages. Preform a nasal wash by spraying it directly into your nose several times a day to alleviate congestion. Contact, or saline, solution is not harsh on your nasal passages as most over-the-counter nasal sprays. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, researchers found that a daily irrigation of nasal passages with saline solution relieves sinusitis symptoms and reduces antibiotic use.
Excess earwax build-up, or impaction in the ear, can be washed out with contact solution. Mix one part hydrogen peroxide to one part contact solution. Have the person lie on his side with the non-affected ear facing up. Drape a towel over him to protect his clothing. Use a sterile bulb syringe, or regular sterile syringe, and spray an continuous stream of the mixture into the affected ear. The wax build-up bubbles to the surface allowing you to wipe it away.
Eye Drops or Contact Re-wetting Solution
Plain contact solution, especially thimerisol-free, can be used as eye drops or re-wetting solution. You never want to put multipurpose solution directly into your eye. Label your container "contact solution" or "saline solution." Since most bottles tend to be larger in size than regular eye drop bottles, making them hard to carry around, you may transfer contact solution into another sterile container. When using eye drops, the tip of the bottle should not touch your eyeball or eyelid; this can transfer contaminates into the container. If at anytime your eye becomes irritated, discontinue use immediately.