contact lens care
An Ultraviolet System for Contact Lens Disinfection
BY SUSAN J. GROMACKI, OD, MS, FAAO
Summer is a good time to discuss PuriLens Plus (PuriLens, The Lifestyle Company), the only FDA-approved system that uses ultraviolet (UV) light for contact lens disinfection. It's fast, convenient and preservative-free, with several new upgrades worth mentioning:
- high-grade stainless steel electrical components;
- an encapsulated base design to seal electrical components against moisture;
- a hard-wired power cord molded into the base to eliminate penetration of surface moisture.
Disinfection occurs by exposing contact lenses to 15 minutes of UV-C (253.7 nm) radiation. DNA in microorganisms absorbs the UV light, causing cross-linking and breaking of nucleic acid bonds and resulting in cell death. The lens holder protects the lenses from direct exposure to UV light, which ensures consistent parameters over time.
PuriLens Plus is approved for use with all hydrogel lens materials -- even disposables -- and it's a no-rub system. It cleans by rinsing the lenses with PuriLens Plus Ultra PF Solution (saline) for 10 seconds, followed by a subsonic agitation that occurs within the unit itself. According to the company, this agitation, at 3600 cycles/minute, removes lipids, mucin, protein and other debris. Because it doesn't require rubbing of the lenses, PuriLens is a good option for patients who have long fingernails or heavily soiled hands (mechanics, landscapers, construction workers, etc.).
The PuriLens Plus solution, which also fills the unit, contains no preservatives. As a result, the system is an excellent choice for patients who have solution sensitivities or dry eyes. This also means that patients must discard the four-ounce solution bottles 15 days after opening and that they must re-disinfect lenses if they don't wear them within 24 hours. (These aren't concerns for full-time wearers.) If the patient uses PuriLens Plus solution exclusively, then PuriLens, The Lifestyle Company guarantees the unit for one year.
Reviewing the Pros and Cons
New improvements to the PuriLens kit include upgraded stainless steel electrical connectors. With a heavier weight than the previous model, they're less likely to corrode. This assures better contact and longer life. Also, the new encapsulated base design protects the unit's electronics from moisture. In addition, the hard-wired power cord is molded into the base to prevent moisture and corrosion damage.
Lastly, PuriLens, The LifeStyle Company now ships PuriLens Plus solution directly to patients. The PuriLens system isn't available commercially, which gives us the opportunity to monitor lens care compliance. It also provides additional practice revenue, while costing patients less than chemical care systems.
Regarding the drawbacks of this contact lens care system, it needs an electrical outlet for operation. Also, eyecare providers need extra space in their offices to store units and solution, and the FDA hasn't yet approved it for silicone hydrogel or GP materials.
In summary, PuriLens Plus is a good contact lens care system to add to your contact lens care armamentarium.
Dr. Gromacki is in group practice in Burke, Virginia, and has served as a faculty member at the University of Michigan Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.