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solutions

For Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lenses

The principle functions of RGP solutions are; lens surface conditioning, disinfecting, cushioning and cleaning.

Conditioning/wetting and soaking.
The role of the solution is to soak your lenses overnight in order to keep the surface hydrated, help remove build-up of dried on mucous and other stubborn surface deposits and prevent bacterial growth in the solution and on the lens. On insertion in the eye, the same solution provides a cushion between the eye and the lens, and facilitates the even spread of tears over the lens. The solutions that Henry Morgan Opticians recommend are Boston Advance, Menicon Plus and Regard K (The only non-preserved RGP solution)

Cleaning
Protein and Mucins, which form part of the eye’s natural defence mechanism, are attracted to the chemistry of the RGP contact lenses and then dry on the surfaces in between blinks. It is important to clean off this build-up to keep the surface smooth and wettable. Boston cleaner contains microscopic polymeric beads (gritty bits) which, through the action of rubbing, clean off the surface deposits.

Bleach-based cleaners, such as Menicon Progent, clean the surfaces by interaction with the chemical bonds that hold the deposits onto the contact lens surface.

Soft contact lens solutions

The primary role is to keep the lens hydrated when it is not being worn. It is also useful if it can clean the lens whilst it is soaking and at the same time it has to contain sufficiently powerful antimicrobial agents to prevent what is, in effect, a warm, wet, bionutrient broth turning into a bacterial soup. Fortunately today there are any number of one-bottle solutions that perform all three tasks admirably.

Solution allergies are now more or less a thing of the past. Nonetheless, occasionally contact lens wearers show sensitivity to a solution which can usually be resolved by choosing another brand of solution that contains a different antimicrobial agent. For example, the following ‘one bottle’ solutions contain different antimicrobial agents; Renu, Opti-free-Replenish and Regard. If the problem continues it may be necessary to choose a Hydrogen Peroxide based system.

Hydrogen Peroxide, often hailed as being the most effective antimicrobial contact lens solution available, is now only widely available as Oxysept One Step or AOSept or Easysept. None of these utilise the full antimicrobial anti-amoeba potential of the Peroxide which is only realised by an overnight soak in a full 3% concentration of the Hydrogen Peroxide solution. Currently this can only be achieved by using Novoxy Two Step. (call Henry Morgan Opticians for a trial pack).

Cleaning Solutions
Cleaning solutions for soft contact lenses have all but disappeared from the market place. All contact lens solutions have a mild cleaning action if the rub and rinse step is included before overnight soaking, although none are as effective at cleaning off makeup, moisturisers, lanolin from hand soaps and sun cream contaminants as the dedicated cleaner, such as Miraflow. This is almost the last ‘stand alone’ cleaner available today, fortunately for us, it is the most effective.

Rinsing Solutions
As the name implies, their primary role is to rinse the lens following cleaning and/or disinfecting. Their use is declining as nowadays most one bottle solutions can be put directly into the eye with the exception of AOSept/Easysept/Oxysept one step/Novoxy One. Rinsing solutions are all sterile saline and most are free of preservatives, so the risk of adverse sensitivity reaction is minimal.

Re-wetting Drops
The reason most frequently cited by patients for discontinuing contact lens wear is the feeling of dryness in the eye during wear. This is particularly true of the modern, computer-dominated, air-conditioned, centrally-heated environments that we inhabit in the 21st century. Whilst re-wetting drops can effectively relieve symptoms on a short term basis, they should not be considered to be long-term solution. There are many new contact lens materials that perform better in these harsh environments and that should be trialled first before settling for re-wetting drops as a solution. Consult your Eye Care Practitioner