Care Systems for GP Lenses
BY STEPHANIE L. WOO, OD, FAAO, FSLS
A wide variety of lens care solutions await contact lens patients in virtually every store. Most care solutions are aimed toward soft contact lens wearers, but there are often a few options for GP lens wearers as well. What solution is best for them? Are all solutions created equal? Can patients mix and match? Don’t let your patients choose whatever solution they want; instead, prescribe the appropriate contact lens solution that is right for each GP lens patient.
There are some great multipurpose GP solutions on the market. The benefit of these solutions is the convenience—one solution can clean, disinfect, store, and condition GP lenses.
This is often a great option for patients who do not want to deal with the hassle of multiple products. It is also great for patients switching from a soft lens modality (who previously used a multipurpose care solution); it is more familiar to these patients, so it may help them get accustomed to their new lenses.
A great benefit of multipurpose solutions is that patients can apply the lenses straight onto their eyes without having to worry about burning them. One of the downfalls to multipurpose solutions, however, is that all-in-one care systems may not be effective enough at removing stubborn deposits such as lipids, mucus, and proteins.
These solutions require at least two different steps to effectively care for GP lenses. Several products come with a bottle of cleaner and a bottle of conditioning solution. One contains a single bottle that cleans, disinfects, and stores GP lenses, but the lenses must be rinsed properly before application. These care systems may work better for patients who are heavy depositors or who have difficulty keeping their lenses clean.
Even though the buildup may be removed more effectively, one of the disadvantages of this type of GP care system is that there are multiple steps in caring for the GP lenses. It’s important to note that some of the abrasive cleaners may be too harsh for high-Dk materials (which are used for all scleral lenses). The high-Dk materials are softer compared to other GP materials, so more abrasive cleaners may cause the lenses to scratch more easily and wear out faster.
Hydrogen Peroxide Solutions
A benefit of hydrogen peroxide systems is their nonpreserved nature, which can help ensure successful lens wear for patients who are sensitive to preservatives. With the unique design of the lens case, many patients appreciate the basket instead of the lens wells to separate their lenses. This type of system can benefit scleral contact lens wearers who have difficulty cleaning the posterior side of the lens. Hydrogen peroxide care systems are also great for patients suffering from ocular allergies.
There are a few different products on the market to deep clean GP contact lenses. Most are recommended for use each week or month, although many patients will treat their lenses once or twice per year.
These deep cleaning products can help remove stubborn deposits when traditional cleaners fall short. Deep cleaning GP lenses on a regular basis may help improve their lifespan.
Although GP contact lenses have fewer care options available compared to soft contact lenses, there are still several on the market to consider. Prescribing an appropriate care system for your GP patients can help keep their lenses disinfected, conditioned, and comfortable.
If your patients are having difficulties with their GP lenses, consider altering their current regimen to keep them happy and healthy. CLS
Dr. Woo currently practices at Havasu Eye Center in Lake Havasu, Ariz. She is also the treasurer for the Scleral Lens Education Society and is an Advisory Board member for the GPLI. She is a consultant to Blanchard, X-Cel, and SpecialEyes.