What is the best method for cleaning and disinfecting your contact lenses?
In a recent issue of Contact Lens Spectrum, two prominent researchers addressed this issue in a point-counterpoint debate.
Charlotte Joslin, OD, PhD, epidemiologist and assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, prefers hydrogen peroxide-based contact lens solutions. She says that a recent study found that only a two-step hydrogen peroxide lens care system was effective against a microorganism that can cause a serious eye infection called acanthamoeba keratitis.
In addition to being proven effective against Acanthamoeba organisms, two-step hydrogen peroxide-based (HPB) contact lens care solutions also are the most effective against bacterial and fungal eye infections, according to Dr. Joslin. She also said that there have been two worldwide recalls of (non-hydrogen peroxide) multipurpose contact lens solutions due to outbreaks of amoeba and fungal eye infections associated with the use of these one-step solutions.
Dr. Joslin’s argument was countered by Craig A. Woods, PhD, research manager at the Centre for Contact Lens Research, School of Optometry, University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada).
Dr Woods believes multipurpose contact lens care solutions offer the best combination of safety, cost and effectiveness.
He says that one-step (“no rub”) multipurpose solutions are less expensive and easier to use than HPB disinfecting solutions, and contact lens wearers are more likely to use them properly. He says that there have been “only rare reports” of complications associated with multipurpose solutions, and that they are proven safe and effective.
Dr. Woods also says that hydrogen peroxide-based lens care systems require contacts to be exposed to the hydrogen peroxide solution for a significant amount of time, and that single-step HPB systems may not allow sufficient time for complete disinfection.
He says that while the recent outbreaks of eye infections that caused global recalls of certain multipurpose care solutions were “horrendous for the individuals involved,” he believes these were isolated incidents and not representative of the overall performance of multipurpose disinfecting solutions.
The full point-counterpoint discussion of contact lens care solutions featuring Drs. Joslin and Woods appears in the June 2009 issue of Contact Lens Spectrum.