Top Reasons Why Lens Care Is So Important
There are a lot of new solutions that are offering enhanced comfort, convenience and improved disinfection.
A great deal of people who wear contacts are starting to wear daily disposable lenses. While there is this growing number, the vast majority of people wearing contact lenses within the United States wear lenses that are not the daily disposable kind and they need to have decent contact lens solutions that will help them to maintain their lenses and care for them properly. When we usually think of people wearing weekly, bi-weekly or monthly disposable contact lenses, there are a lot of patients that choose specialty soft lenses as gas permeable who require different contact lens solutions.
Because this is still a very important topic, we make sure to ask our clients to bring their lens case, any solutions and other products that they are using to care for either their eyes or their contact lenses. When we take the initiative to ask the patient to bring in all of their supplies, we will be able to gather a better understanding of how they are working to take care of their lenses or what they could be doing to improve upon care. We have seen quite a few patients who are not doing all that they can to care for their lenses, so we want to make sure that we are able to work with them to help facilitate proper cleaning and care.
Moving throughout this article, we will discuss several important points on why it is so important to care for your lenses in order to keep them comfortable and healthy for your eyes.
New Multipurpose Care Solutions Will Give Better Options For A Patient Wearing Materials That Are Newer
Even though there are a lot of patients that look at multipurpose solutions as a different label on a bottle that has the same solution inside, what they should know is that the differences are real. If a patient is unable to understand the differences, they are not going to be making the right decision and will often go with a lower cost option. It is important that they do not move away from the solution that was recommended to them when they had their initial fitting for their contact lenses. If a patient is not going to be educated well on why a particular solution was prescribed for lens care, they will sometimes go for the lowest cost option.
How Can Patients Be Educated On All Of The Differences In Solutions?
There was an era where most of the multipurpose solutions were made for use with hydrogel lens technology. This means that they were formulated in a special manner to optimize both comfort and disinfection with the hydrogen materials. There were three multipurpose solutions that were introduced to the market roughly ten years ago. Out of those, there was one that had to be voluntarily recalled back in 2006 because it has been associated with an increased risk of developing a condition known as Fusarium keratitis. A second solution had been recalled in 2007 due to an association with a boosted risk of Acanthamoeba keratitis. Because of these recalls, this turned into an era of caution in terms of the types of solutions that could be used and possible contact lens interactions. The new era of solutions meant that it was important to help the patients with different ways of wearing silicone hydrogel lenses, which were known as contemporary contact lenses.
The benefits that these newer solutions were able to provide made them revolutionary. Manufacturers of lens care products looked at ways of either maintaining or improving upon the disinfection process while improving comfort throughout the silicone hydrogel lens era. Out of all of the new solutions, none of them were considered for approval as a no-rub solution, which was basically a move to increase levels of patient compliance by both the industry as well as the FDA.
The three contact lens solutions that are new include:
Bausch + Lomb – Biotrue: This is a unique formula that contains hyaluronan, which is a moisturizing agent that has the ability to retain itself to hydrogel and silicone hydrogel contact lens surfaces. There has also been polyquaternium added to this solution that helps with the efficiency of disinfection.
Alcon – OptiFree PureMoist: This solution differs from OptiFree Replenish in that it contains a major surfactant that is known as HydraGlyde (polyoxyethylene-polyoxybutylene. This particular surfactant has the ability to improve the wetness of the surface and the comfort all the way through to the end of the day.
Abbot Medical Optics – Revitalens OcuTec: This is a reformulation of Complete Easy Rub and it contains alexidine and polyquaternium-1 as the major disinfecting agents. A wetting agent that is called Tetronic 904 helps to add to the wearing experience for patients.
There Have Been Advances In Peroxide, But You Need To Watch Out For Imitators
Some peroxide systems have been mainstays for a lot of people who tend to have a hypersensitivity to some of the multipurpose solutions. Peroxide can be a great way to clean contact lenses simply because they are initially kept in a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. There will be a platinum disc inside the lens case that works to neutralize the peroxide into a saline solution for the soaking time required by the FDA.
Alcon’s ClearCare has been a solution that is a mainstay for many years, which was marketed for nearly 20 years. There is a cage that holds the contact lenses and the disc of platinum is attached to the cage. The peroxide will not be neutralized until the disc cage is submerged completely. Not too long ago, ClearCare Plus was introduced by Alcon to add wetting technology to aid in the lubrication of the lens surface.
Bausch + Lomb also recently brought PeroxiClear to the market, which is a system that needs a four hour soaking time compared to a six hour soaking time. This can be a convenient option for patients who have irregular schedules.
When it comes to peroxide systems, you need to be careful of generic or store brand products. This is because some of them do not contain the right disc or the disc is not in the right location on the inside of the solution area to help with an adequate disinfection process. The last thing that you will want is for the solution to neutralize before the lenses have a chance to soak in the peroxide. With some of the generic or store brand products, you need to be sure that you put your contacts immediately so that they have the ability to get disinfected properly. While no patient should be discouraged from using these solutions, it is important that they know how to use them properly to get the most benefit.
Peroxide Is An Option For Gas Permeable Lenses
If you happen to have gas permeable lenses, you need to remember that there are a number of multipurpose disinfecting options available. These are usually two step system that calls for cleaning and soaking or rinsing with different solutions. Bausch + Lomb Boston Original and Boston Advanced as well as Lobob Optimum are some of the top choices. There are also single bottle options available with Bausch + Lomb Boston Simplus and Menicon Unique pH.
Whenever there is a patient that seems to have a sensitivity to a multipurpose solution, hydrogen peroxide systems are going to be a good choice. Approved for GP lenses are ClearCare, ClearCare Plus as well as PeroxiClear. They can be wonderful solutions for anyone who has seasonal allergies, those who are prone to deposits or have hypersensitivities.
It is important that any patient is able to understand how the cage systems work and what to do if you have traditional GPs that are small diameter or scleral lenses. These larger lenses can come along with their own logistical challenges because of the cage size. The patient can benefit from learning some different techniques for snapping the disc to remove it from the stem and placing the lenses into the solution with it, just making sure to determine one lens from the other.
Proper Lens Care Remains Prominently Relevant
It is always going to be important to pay attention to contact lens solutions and how you are cleaning and caring for your contacts. You need to constantly stay up with any of the research when it comes to lens are. If you are able to understand the differences, you will be able to come up with the perfect solution for each patient to fully enhance the wearing experience. Patient education is always going to be crucial and you can work on making sure that they are compliant with the best care and cleaning recommendations.