contact lens care
Soft Lens Daily Cleaners: What's Available?
BY MICHAEL A. WARD, MMSC, FAAO
Along with the popularity of disposable soft lenses came the associated popularity of all-in-one multipurpose (MPS) lens care solutions. MPS products work great for the majority of the market using two-week and monthly disposable soft lenses. However, patients who replace their lenses less frequently and occasionally even disposable lens wearers need a stronger, separate cleaner.
Environmental contaminants and certain patients' lid and tear chemistries may contaminate lens surfaces. This is especially true of silicone hydrogel lens materials, which have significantly greater lipophilic surface properties.
The number of daily cleaners has decreased as the MPS products have captured the market. Only a few are readily available. A spot for retail shelf space is competitive, so faster moving products occupy most of the space not much room for old fashioned daily cleaners.
The need for daily cleaners has become more apparent this year with the restricted availability of Miraflow Extra Strength Daily Cleaner (CIBA Vision), which has held a unique place for many years in the lens care market.
Miraflow contains purified water, isopropyl alcohol, 15.7% poloxamer 407 and amphoteric 10. It's preservative-free, can be used with all types of soft and hard (PMMA) lenses, and is noted for its lipolytic properties, as well as its significant antimicrobial activity.
CIBA Vision states that Miraflow should again be available in the fourth quarter of this year. Although my patients cannot currently find Miraflow in the stores, I did find it online at eBay. (This is not a recommendation.)
Available daily cleaners include:
Lens Plus Daily Cleaner (Inyx, Inc.) is a sterile,
preservative-free, surface-active buffered solution containing cocoampho-
carboxyglycinate (and) sodium lauryl sulfate (and) hexylene glycol, sodium chloride and sodium phosphate.
Pliagel (Alcon) is a sterile, aqueous solution containing poloxamer 407, potassium chloride and sodium chloride with sorbic acid and edetate trisodium as preservatives.
Sensitive Eyes Daily Cleaner (Bausch & Lomb)
is a sterile, isotonic, buffered solution that contains hydroxypropyl methyl-
cellulose, poloxamine, sodium borate and sodium chloride; preserved with edetate disodium (0.5%) and sorbic acid (0.25%).
Opti-Free Daily Cleaner (Alcon) for soft and GP lenses is a buffered, isotonic formulation containing Tween 21 Solubilizer and Microclens special polymeric cleaning agents with edetate disodium 0.1% and Polyquad (polyquaternium-1) 0.001% as preservatives.
Opti-Free Daily Cleaner is an abrasive cleaner that uses small polymeric beads to enhance the mechanical stripping of proteins and debris from lens surfaces. Patients shouldn't use abrasives on plasma-treated lenses.
The need to digitally clean contact lenses, especially silicone hydrogels, is well documented. Daily cleaners are occasionally needed to augment MPS products. Contact lens cleaners seldom cause ocular reactions if lenses are properly rinsed.
Mr. Ward is an instructor in ophthalmology at Emory University School of Medicine and Director, Emory Contact Lens Service.