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    3 reasons why lens care is still important

    Newer solutions offer improved disinfection and enhanced comfort and convenience

    An increasing number of our contact lens wearers are wearing daily disposable lenses.1 Even with this increasing number, a majority of the contact lens wearers in the United States wear contact lenses that are not daily disposable and require contact lens solutions to help them care and maintain their lenses. Although we typically think of those wearing either weekly, two-week, or monthly disposable lenses, there are a number of patients wearing specialty soft lenses and gas permeable who also require contact lens solutions. 

    We believe that this is still an important topic, and we ask patient to bring in their contact lens case, solutions, and any other products they may be using to care for their eyes or contact lenses. By asking patients to bring in their lens supplies, you will have a greater understanding how patients really take care of—or don’t care of—their contact lenses. We’ve seen enough poor compliers to understand that appropriate compliance will create a successful lens wearer. 

    Here we will discuss the three points to keep in mind about the importance of lens care to comfortable, healthy contact lens wear.

    Related: The pros and cons of selling lens care solution

    1. New multipurpose solutions provide better options for patients wearing newer materials

    Although most patients will view multipurpose solutions as simply different labels on bottles containing the same solution, there are significant differences that exist among these solutions. But, if patients do not understand the differences, they will be more likely to be influenced by lower cost and will often switch from the solution that was recommended to them during their initial contact lens fitting. Simply put, if patients are not well educated why you prescribed a certain lens care solution, they will tend to purchase the one that costs the least.

    So what are the differences, and how do we educate our patients about those differences?

    The majority of multipurpose solutions were created in an era of hydrogel lens technology. As such, they were specifically formulated to optimize disinfection and comfort with hydrogel materials. Three new multipurpose solutions were brought to market about a decade ago. Of those three, one was voluntarily recalled in 2006 because it was associated with increased risk of Fusarium keratitis, and a second was voluntarily recalled in 2007 because of its association with increased risk of Acanthamoeba keratitis.2,3 This was certainly an era of caution in which clinicians became much more cognizant of the solution-contact lens interaction. As a result, a new era of solutions was created to help meet the needs of patients wearing contemporary contact lenses, such as silicone hydrogel lenses.

    More on lens care: Patient awareness: Assumptions, expectations, and reality

    These new solutions are truly revolutionary in terms of the benefits that they provide. Lens care manufacturers looked at either maintaining or improving disinfection efficacy in addition to improving comfort in an era of silicone hydrogel lenses. Interestingly, none of the three contemporary solutions are approved as a “no-rub” solution, which is a move by the FDA and industry to increase levels of patient compliance.

    The three new contact lens solutions are:

    • Biotrue (Bausch + Lomb) is unique in that it contains hyaluronan. This is a known moisturizing agent that that has been shown to retain itself to the surface of various hydrogel and silicone hydrogel lenses.4 Additionally, polyquaternium has been added to the solution to optimize disinfection efficacy.5

    • OptiFree PureMoist (Alcon) differs from its predecessor OptiFree Replenish by its major surfactant polyoxyethylene-polyoxybutylene (HydraGlyde).6 This surfactant improves surface wettability and end-of-day comfort.7

    • Revitalens OcuTec (Abbot Medical Optics) is a complete reformulation of its predecessor Complete Easy Rub. It contains polyquaternium-1 and alexidine as its major disinfecting agents. Wetting agent Tetronic 904 provides an enhanced wearing experience for patients.8

    Next: Advances in peroxide, but watch out for imitators

    Mile Brujic, OD, FAAO
    Dr. Mile Brujic practices in Bowling Green, OH. He also owns Optometric Insights, a service providing career coaching to optometrists.
    Jason Miller, OD, MBA, FAAO
    Dr. Miller is a partner in a three-doctor private practice in Powell, OH, and he is an adjunct faculty member for The Ohio State ...

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