Tomorrow's Technologies For Today's Lens Wearers

Contact lens solutions may factor into the success formula. Patient success equals practice success.

Tomorrow's Technologies For Today's Lens Wearers
Contact lens solutions may factor into the success formula. Patient success equals practice success.

Soft contact lens patients represent about 90% of a contact lens practice. Unfortunately, every one of these nearly 34 million patients in the United States is a potential contact lens dropout. In fact, in 1 year, as many as 2.7 million patients may stop wearing their contact lenses.

Of those patients who drop out of contact lens wear, more than 90% do so because of discomfort, according to reports by Fonn and colleagues in 2002. So if you can keep your patients comfortable wearing contact lenses not only will they be happy, but you'll profit more because contact lens patients, long-term, are more profitable than spectacles-only patients. Here's why.

Not only do contact lens wearers see their eyecare practitioners more frequently than spectacles-only patients, they also need spectacles and sunwear in addition to their contact lenses. So it makes good sense for you as a clinician and businessperson to make sure the lens design, material and fit all work together to satisfy your patients. And of course, before fitting or refitting patients, you'll treat any eyelid disease, ocular surface disease or dry eye. But contact lens success doesn't stop with the lens and the eye.

New technologies

The newest lens care solutions are the best ever and quite different from those of the past decade. Technological advances already have given us highly efficient disinfectants and lens cleaning agents combined in a single solution. New ingredients keep lenses cleaner and make lens surfaces more biocompatible, more wettable and better moisturized. The next generation of contact lens solutions focuses on patient comfort and ocular health.

For example, ingredients like the ophthalmic demulcent hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) keep lens surfaces moisturized. Nontoxic surfactants, buffers and amino acids are critical to optimal cleanliness and long-lasting comfort. Some of these ingredients may even have therapeutic antioxidant and cellular protective effects. Indeed, these new ingredients help keep your patients happy in safe contact lens wear, and that can improve your bottom line.

We all should read the literature, the labeling, and the solution containers and talk to lens care company representatives to learn about the many new important ingredients that differentiate lens care solutions. As our authors point out, only one multipurpose solution contains two ophthalmic demulcents, HPMC and propylene glycol.

Play to your strength

Your patients come to you because they know you are the expert and will recommend the best products for each individual patient. If you recommend a lens care solution to a patient, she'll continue to use it, especially if you monitor her lens care at each visit to ensure compliance. In other words, don't underestimate the power of your lens solution recommendation. It can mean the difference between contact lens failure and success for your patients.

Dr. Barr is editor of Contact Lens Spectrum. He's a professor and assistant dean for clinical affairs at The Ohio State College of Optometry.



Key Components of Multipurpose Solutions

Brand Name Manufacturer Ingredients
Complete MoisturePlus Advanced
Medical Optics (AMO)
Purified water, sodium chloride, polyhexamethylene biguanide, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, propylene glycol, taurine, edetate disodium, potassium chloride, sodium phosphate, poloxamer 237.
Opti-Free Express
MPDS Lasting Comfort
No Rub Formula
Alcon Laboratories, Inc. Sodium citrate, sodium chloride, edetate disodium 0.05%, polyquartenium-1 0.001% (Polyquad), myristamidopropyl dimethylamine (Aldox) 0.0005%, Tetronic 1304, boric acid, sorbitol, AMP-95.
ReNu MultiPlus Multi-
Purpose Solution
No Rub Formula
Bausch & Lomb Hydroxyalkyl phosphonate, boric acid, edetate disodium, sodium borate, sodium chloride, polyaminopropyl biguanide (Dymed) 0.0001%, poloxamine
SOLO-care Plus CIBA Vision Sodium chloride, bis-tris propane, pluronic F127, Aqualube (cremophor), edetate disodium dihydrate 0.025%, polyhexanide 0.0001%


Less Dryness, Longer Wearing Time

Our patients have been thrilled with the increased comfort while wearing their contact lenses when using the new Complete MoisturePlus. The new formulation has reduced the problems we often encounter with multipurpose solutions and has offered the additional benefit of improved comfort and wearing time.

Patients report their lenses are more comfortable and they're able to wear them longer than with other multipurpose products. The ability of the solution to wet the lenses appears to result in improved patient response as far as dryness is concerned. The additional wetting properties of the propylene glycol and HPMC appear to help reduce drying, and taurine appears to reduce the irritation signs we've seen with other multipurpose disinfection systems.

I recommend Complete MoisturePlus without hesitation. Patients have enjoyed the benefits of the new formulation, and we've solved additional problems by switching those patients who have concerns with their solutions.

Glenda B. Secor, O.D., F.A.A.O., Huntington Beach, Calif.