Where to find Clear Care Around the World

(Help Wanted!)

[Fair warning: this post will only interest you if you are picky about your contact solution and traveling in Asia! When I went searching for this information 6 months ago, there was nothing. Consider this post a highly specialized void-filling. ALSO, if you FIND it in your travels, please comment below and I will start adding your find to the list!]

UPDATED LIST OF CITIES BELOW!

 

Until today, I don’t think I realized Clear Care had such a crazy fanbase.

Years ago I was turned on to the peroxide-based contact lens cleaner/solution called Clear Care; previously, I had never really considered the funky expensive solution that came with its own bizarro case. In fact, some day I’ll tell you the story about how I bought that solution out of desperation/ignorance/poor labeling, and I squirted hydrogen peroxide directly into both of my eyes, single-handedly scarring a friend’s psyche (it’s hard to verbally describe what’s going on when both of your eyeballs are suddenly on fire and your companion is wondering why you are screaming) and almost my own peepers. But this post is not about that. This post is about the Quest for the Holy Grail of Asia: peroxide-based contact care.

When BJ & I left home, we thought we were going to be on the road for at least 10 months. One 32 oz bottle lasts one month, and I have one backpack to my name; translation: I can’t bring a 10 bottle stash of my Clear Care with me. At first I just tried Googlin’ around to see if I would be able to find my magic juice overseas, but didn’t get any leads. I researched the distribution of Clear Care, but didn’t find anything that made me more comfortable. So, I set out with a few bottles, figuring I would either find some on the road, or I would alternate between regular contact solution (Renu is readily available most everywhere) and the magical peroxide one. (For those of you not on the Clear Care train yet, it makes my contacts feel fresher for longer; at the end of the month, it doesn’t feel like I’m watching the world through a dirty windshield). I had high hopes, though.

Montage time! (This next part is more fun if you imagine an India Jones-type map and my flying all over the globe in search of contact solution.) I didn’t search too hard in the north and south of India, as I knew that was a lost cause (although I didn’t scour Mumbai). Nepal, I barely tried, although I met some great pharmacists there. But Singapore… I figured it ANYWHERE would come through for me, it would be Singapore. Singapore–none, zero, zilch. A city of superlatives and world class attractions, but bupkis in the peroxide eyecare world. (UPDATE: I HAVE found it in Singapore, glory be!)

Victory!

I figured I was done for, but I continued my search throughout Indonesia (Bali & Lombok) and Thailand (Bangkok & Chiang Mai). Chiang Mai, you’re practically an American city, how y’gonna do my contact solution needs like that? By now, 5 months later, I was down to my last bottle. We moved on to George Town, Penang (Malaysia) and it was there that I finished my last bottle. We happened to be in the KOMTAR complex/Pacific Marketplace and we passed a Guardian Pharmacy. I like to peruse local pharmacies anyways, and out of habit I looked for the eye care section. And there it was… a whole row of AO Sept Plus. Now, AO Sept is made by Ciba Vision, the same company that makes Clear Care. Apparently back in the day it used to take more steps/equipment to use AO Sept, but AO Sept Plus is basically the same exact thing as Clear Care. (Hey, more SKUs makes for more shelf space!)

I had found it, the first day I truly needed it. Dear AO Sept, I would have bought every single one of you had we not been making a visit to the U.S. next month.

So, what is the point of this blog post? Basically, it’s only directed to those of you who are traveling in Asia and are having concerns about the integrity of your corrective eyeball covers. Some of you might be rejoicing, some disappointed, and most of you just wishing you had 4 minutes of your life back. But I have my contact solution.

Readers have contributed GREAT information!  Here is a list of reported Yays and Nays around Asia (and more). Please let me know if you find it somewhere not on this list!

Yes

Thailand (Boots pharmacy. UPDATE: I have looked in MANY Boots, Watsons, and optician around Bangkok, and NO ONE has anything close to AO Sept anymore. No spaces on the shelves, no indication of it returning.)

Chiang Mai (only in glasses / contact lens shops)

Hong Kong

Taiwan (Watsons pharmacy)

Hanoi, Vietnam (Hanoi Medical University Hospital — Eye division)

New Zealand (only in glasses / contact lens shops)

Cairns, Australia (pharmacies)

Singapore

Kuala Lumpur (UPDATE: it seems to be more difficult to find it in 2017 than it was in 2013; all the pharmacies I checked had a slot on the shelf for AO Sept but they were all empty. They do have a version where you can add a B-12 pill to the solution in order to neutralize the formula, but I have not tried this solution). 

Still a No…

Saigon

ALL of India

Nepal

Bhutan

Myanmar

Laos

Bali

Lombok

Morocco

And as far as I can tell, none in Mexico (at least Central Mexico), Peru, Ecuador

37 Comments

  1. Lauren H

    This is so helpful! Clear Care is the only contact lens solution I use willingly. The other kinds I’m allergic to I guess– found that out when I was studying in New Zealand and my eyes became really itchy and I was having trouble seeing, so my mom had to send me some Clear Care (which they didn’t have in NZ at the time though I’m sure they’ve seen the light now) all the way from the States! I’ve always had a hard time finding it while traveling, especially outside of big cities, even in places like the UK. And when you’re traveling for a while, it’s not really feasible to bring a huge stash with you. Thanks for the heads up about Aosept Plus, and SE Asia– an area of the world that is on my list of places to go within the next few years!

    Reply
    • Lauren

      Hi Lauren! I am SO SO happy to hear that post was helpful for you; I was positive that I wasn’t the only person that would be scouring the ends of the earth for Clear Care! I’ll probably keep an emergency stash with friends in India & Nepal, but it’s great that Bangkok & Kuala Lumpur have it since they’re such convenient hubs for traveling in SE Asia. By the by, we’d be more than happy to help make that trip to SE Asia happen for you : ) Keep in touch and thank you so much for giving me feedback! Take care, [another] ~Lauren

      Reply
  2. shan

    Thanks for the pointer that AO Sept is the same as Clear Care!!

    Reply
    • Tom

      AOSept is not the same as Clear Care, as it lacks the surfactant that loosens protein from the lens surface.

      However, AOSept *Plus* is the same as Clear Care.

      Reply
      • Lauren

        Thanks for reading! I get into that detail in the text, just not the headline, but thank you for the clarification!

        Reply
  3. KL

    Thank you so much for your post! Housekeeping threw away my clear care case and I thought I would have to use another brand. They don’t understand why I was so upset.

    Reply
  4. vera anthony, 41 esperanca, holy cross road, ic colony, Borivili west, INDIA

    Is AO Sept available in Mumbai, India. My son is using the Boston Scleral Lenses and needs AO Sept to disinfect the lens. Or is it available at least in any other town in India, please help. vera

    Reply
    • Lauren

      Hi Vera,
      I have never seen anything but Renu products in India, but I have never looked in Mumbai (and if any Indian city would have it, it’s Mumbai!) I wish him luck, and please let me know if he finds it, so I can update the blog and tell other people!

      Reply
  5. Dick

    Thailand has it all over at Boots Pharmacy. Very easy to find. Have not been able to find it in Vietnam in either Hanoi or Saigon yet for past 3 months. Down to my last bottle. May have to switch to Renu.

    Reply
    • Lauren

      Thanks, Dick! I had looked in a few Boots, but maybe they were smaller locations–very good to know. I’ll be headed to Vietnam in 2 weeks and will search, too–I’ll let you know if I find it anywhere (although I’m sure you searched quite thoroughly!)

      Reply
  6. Allyn

    Hi. Thanks for this posting. I can add that Aosept Plus is easy to find in pharmacies in Hong Kong.

    Reply
  7. Stéphanie

    Gah! I brought 3 or 4 bottles in my backpack & now I’m on my last bottle & am living in Saigon (HCMC), Vietnam for the next few months at least. Has anyone had any luck finding it?! I’m going to start the hunt soon.

    Reply
    • Lauren

      Hi Stephanie! I don’t think I checked in HCMC because I was headed home shortly. Please PLEASE let us know if you find any! Best of luck!

      Reply
  8. Sam

    Lauren, you can find AOSEPT Plus in Watsons Pharmacies in Taiwan.

    Reply
    • Lauren

      Thanks you for that update–I appreciate it!!

      Reply
  9. driftingbutneveraimless

    I was amazed to find this post because it was just the highly specialized void-filing information I needed!

    I recently moved to southern India and was unsure about being able to find the majestic hydrogen peroxide solution that keeps my contacts from attacking my own eyeballs. (Technical term is uveitis which means your white blood cells infiltrate your eye attempting to fix what they think is an infection and they actually just screw things up for you.)

    So, since I’m now calling India home, I didn’t pack much of my contact solution thinking I can just be cultural and adjust. After just two days of using Renu regular old run of the mill solution, I can now safely say, that isn’t going to freaking work. So I’m pulling strings and having friends smuggle it in their luggage for me and debating about spending the small fortune it would cost to order it online.

    I’ll keep hunting through my city and state but this helpful post has really cleared up my confusion. It is helpful to know sometimes that there is no hope. Guess I’ll have to plan regular trips out of country and stock up on my contraband. On the flip side, I know corrective laser eye surgery is now running about 300 USD here. Might just get out of the corrective lenses game altogether.

    Anyway, I greatly appreciated the highly specific insight!

    Reply
  10. Lynn

    Found aosept in New Zealand, but you have to purchase from an eye glass/eye doctor directly, it is not sold in New Zealand pharmacies. The cost for two bottles was NZ$54.

    Also found a 2-bottle pack in Cairns, Australia at a pharmacy called the discount chemist across from Cairns Central Mall.

    Reply
    • Lauren

      Good to know, Lynn–thank you!

      Reply
  11. gunnerdoo

    And now for the Indonesia report… You can get AO Sept Plus online here: http://www.lensza.co.id/solutions/ao-sept-plus-360ml. I didn’t know until today that it’s the same as ClearCare which I’ve been using for years. I’ve had to impose on friends and acquaintances to bring me bottles of ClearCare from the USA since I start living in Bali 4 years ago. ClearCare is nowhere to be found in Bali but now I’ll start looking for AO Sept Plus and I’ll start with the local Guardian Pharmacy which must be the same chain as in Malaysia. Thanks everyone for the great information.

    Reply
    • Lauren

      You’d think there are enough ex-pats in Bali to warrant some AO Sept action! Good luck, and let us know if it ever pops up in Guardian! (I was just there last week and still no dice 😛 )

      Reply
  12. Katrina

    Thank you for sharing this! I found it very helpful in preparing for a Southeast Asia backpacking trip.

    Reply
  13. Hang

    Stéphanie, You can find AO Sept Plus at Ha Noi Medical University Hospital – Eyes Department (Bệnh viện Đại học Y Hà Nội – Khoa Mắt). It’s in Ha Noi City but you can order it to transfer to Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh City of Viet Nam). Hope this information for you (even it’s late) and somebody maybe need this.

    Reply
    • Lauren

      That’s GREAT information! Thank you!!

      Reply
  14. Nathan Sudds

    Thanks so much for this post Lauren, I should have sent you a message months ago when I was standing in a Georgetown Pharmacy in Penang reading your blog post about AO Sept Plus — I only trusted Clear Care too, and stumbled on AO Sept Plus and wondered if it was the same. Thankfully I found your post and it put me at ease to purchase it.

    I came back to your site today, to look to see if anyone had mentioned Indonesia — as my wife and I are heading there on Monday and I’m going with only a carry-on backpack, so I’m thinking… do I need to buy some extra Clear Care and break it down into smaller bottles for the trip or what? Looks like someone found it online in Indonesia, looks promising.

    I also wanted to say that you can get Clear Care (although the outside packaging is different) in Chiang Mai — but strangely not at the pharmacy, only at the shops that sell glasses and contacts. I don’t know if they all sell it, but at least two shops on Suthep Road between Nimman and the Old City carry it. Once is right next door to a huge pharmacy and they sent me next door, or I may never have found it. Also got a free eye test and purchased replacements of my Air Optix Aqua lenses there. So easy!

    Thanks again for a useful blog post!

    Reply
    • Lauren

      Wow, thank YOU for all that information! I need to sit down one of these days and incorporate all of these tips, including more recent ones from personal experience (like, so far, none in all of central Mexico, Peru, or the big cities in Ecuador!) I really appreciate the input, and I look forward to exploring your site more in depth (looks very cool thus far! 🙂 )

      Reply
    • Lauren

      Oh wow, even that page now says it’s discontinued! Bummer!!! What is happening, SE Asia?!!??!

      Reply
  15. Gemma Steward

    Thank You for this – very helpful! Looks like i will have to take more bottles with me than i thought! The lack of solution in Thailand, Bali and Myanmar has made me very nervous for travelling around Asia as I need to use this solution as my contact lenses are supposed to last for 6 months. ( I have a very expensieve and usual prescription!) Has anyone found any in Cambodia? I live in England and can assure you that you can get AO Sept currently in most Boots shops here in the UK. Boots and Superdrug also do their own brand peroxide solutions which are just as good and come with a neautralising case. There are also cheaper options where you need to neutralise the solution with a tablet which I’ve bought by accident a few times. These work just as well as long as you remember to put the tablet in! (You can be sure you’ll never make that painful mistake twice!!)

    Reply
    • Lauren

      Hi Gemma! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but at least you can be more prepared! And PLEASE do let me know if you find any in Thailand (or Bali or Myanmar, for that matter!) And oh my gosh…I literally feel your pain, haha… Before I even knew about Clear Care, I accidentally bought a bottle (unexpected sleepover back in the day) and squirted it DIRECTLY IN BOTH OF MY EYES as eyedrops. Wow. Like you said—not a mistake you make twice! Since then they’ve put a ton of huge warnings and red caps on it 😉

      Reply
  16. Gloria

    Hi! I didn’t bring my clearcare solution to Bali because I thought it would be easy to find… Well, I was wrong! I read your blog post and got really sad about not being able to find my favourite contact lens cleaner. But good news! After searching for three days, I finally found AO Sept Plus at Mal Galleria in Bali! It was in the Optik store on the lower level of the mall. They didn’t seem to have many in stock but it’s there if you want it!

    Thanks for your tips!

    Reply
    • Lauren

      Oh my, hallelujah! Despite all the ex-pats there, I thought Bali was going to be one of the last places to find it. THANK YOU for sharing this!!

      Reply
  17. atul

    oxysept is carried by some eye specialists in india. but not everywhere.

    Reply
    • Lauren

      If you can give any specifics at all (city, or even name of the specialist) that would be GREAT!

      Reply
  18. Paul

    Glad I came across this blog. My 41yo eyes can’t handle multi-purpose solutions anymore so i’ve switched to Oxycept. What a difference. Last night I used Revitalens just to test the waters again and my eyes were a gunky mess by the end of the day.

    Was in Bangkok in 2015 and I don’t recall seeing any peroxide based systems. Hopefully going back this spring so thanks for the heads up that Clear Care isn’t always easy to find over there. I guess i’ll be checking-in a bag with a full size bottle haha.

    Reply
    • Lauren

      Hiya Paul! Do let us know if you find any of the peroxide-based solutions in Bangkok, ok? Good luck & safe travels!!

      Reply
    • Feliz

      Clear Care was discontinued in Thailand couple years ago. It was indeed a bad news for me who addicted to it for 20 years. I had planned desperately to buy it overseas and carry back to Thailand, unfortunately, as it is a peroxide based solution, it is also forbidden for boarding. My luggage was a real mess when I once unguarded loaded it with Clear Care inside.

      Reply
      • Lauren

        Hi Feliz! What a bummer! Although, if you bought the travel sized Clear Care options, I don’t see why you would not be able to bring them aboard a plane. Likewise, I carry 3-5 full-sized bottles with me at a time (we travel for long stretches) and I just make sure I have them enclosed in a ziploc plastic bag or something similar (even a waterproof bag!) to avoid any luggage mishaps. SO far, so good!

        (Actually, it looks like hydrogen peroxide is not technically allowed on planes in the USA, but…I suppose it’s up to you if you want to roll the dice.)

        Reply

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Lauren

Lauren

Co-pilot at RetreaTours
Current motto: "I'd rather be feeding street dogs."
Lauren

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