Silicone hydrogel contact lenses, even more than conventional soft contacts, require a rubbing step when cleaning and disinfecting the lenses with “no-rub” contact lens solutions, says a prominent contact lens specialist.
Michael A. Ward, MMSc, FAAO, instructor in ophthalmology at Emory University School of Medicine (Atlanta, Ga.) and director of Emory Eye Center‘s Contact Lens Service, says adding the manual cleaning step maximizes comfort, improves vision and reduces the risk of contact lens-related eye infections.
Researchers are finding that one-step (“no-rub”) contact lens solutions often do not completely remove environmental debris, skin oils and make-up from the surface of contact lenses. These lens deposits can cause eye discomfort and vision problems, and may also decrease the effectiveness of lens disinfectants and lead to serious problems, including bacterial and fungal eye infections and Acanthamoeba keratitis.
Silicone hydrogel lenses, which allow more oxygen to reach the cornea than regular soft contacts, are as likely as regular soft lenses to accumulate lens deposits if they are not properly cleaned and disinfected after each wearing period.
If patients at Emory Contact Lens Service are not compliant with a rub-and-rinse lens care regimen and lens deposits are noted, switching to a hydrogen peroxide-based lens care system often solves the problem, Ward told online newsletter Contact Lenses Today (Oct 22).
Another option for people who are prone to contact lens deposits or fail to care for their lenses properly is to switch to daily disposable contacts, which are designed to be discarded after a single use.