Browse the pharmacy section of any supermarket or pharmacy and you will be overwhelmed by the bewildering choice offered for something as basic as contact lens solutions. Studies on contact lens solutions show that the solution you use may play a vital role in contact lens success. There have been studies done comparing the different types of contact lens solutions which are available in the market and the results are quite an eye-opener! Some ingredients in the solution cause more corneal staining more than others. Some ingredients may also cause the eye to dry out more, making the lenses less comfortable to wear. If you get a stinging sensation every time you put your contact lenses in, perhaps you might want to think about switching to another solution. You can also be guided by asking your eye doctor which solution is better for you, since all eyes are different.
Recalls of Lens Solutions
Several times, contact lens solutions have been withdrawn from the market amid reports of potentially serious disease. One such multi-purpose solution was worryingly linked to a rare but serious eye infection that can severely corrode the cornea and even lead to blindness. Some recalls have been set off by issues ranging from bacterial contamination in a Chinese plant to the detection of trace amounts of iron that could cause lens cleaner to lose its effectiveness. Such a personal and important product as lens solution, which we use on our most sensitive eyes needs to be 100% safe, tried and tested. Recalls of sub-standard or harmful solutions are usually alerted when local clinicians first notice an uptick in a rare eye condition and reported the spike to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which launches an investigation. In the past this has found that many people with the disease reported using the same contact solution. The disease involved in one recall was the fungal infection Fusarium keratitis. The disease associated with another was caused by Acanthamoeba; a water-borne parasite that occurs naturally, but in the human eye can lead to serious infections of the cornea. The CDC interviewed 46 people who had the condition, called acanthamoeba keratitis, and found that 21 of them reported using the same lens solution - a risk seven times greater for people using the product than those who were not.
Peroxide-Based or Multi-Purpose Solutions
Concern is currently being focused on multi-purpose solutions. One of the questions being investigated is whether multi-purpose solutions, which are standard products for soft contact lens wearers, are as effective as the earlier peroxide-based cleaners. In fact, some studies show that peroxide-based cleaners, which involve a two-step cleaning process and bubbling action to remove dirt and build-up, are better at killing certain types of organisms. However they are also more cumbersome to use than multi-purpose solution, which simply involves a rinse. Manufacturers have produced solutions that are convenient and comfortable, but it may be a trade-off between convenience and efficacy. Concerned lens wearers are advised to seek the advice of their eye specialist about whether to return to using the older formulas.
How to Avoid Infection
Another factor which contact lens wearers should note is that reusing or topping off old solution is a classic way to encourage infection. Never be tempted to recycle your solution. You need to discard your solution every time after usage. Other things to avoid absolutely are rinsing the inside of a contact case with water instead of solution, or showering or swimming while wearing lenses as some parasites which cause eye infections are water-borne.