SOLUTION SOLVERS

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Abbott’s RevitaLens OcuTec Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution offers broad-spectrum disinfection.

Increase patient satisfaction and contact lens success by educating them (and your staff!) on the best available solutions.

Picture yourself in your exam room listening to a patient discuss her symptoms of dry eyes when wearing her contact lenses. She reports good compliance with replacement of her lenses every month. Before assuming she needs to switch to a new brand of contact lens or use artificial tears, what further questions will you ask?

Will your searching uncover the fact that she’s using a generic multipurpose solution? As eyecare professionals (ECPs), we must remember that an important part of being pleased with contact lenses is how they are cared for and replaced. With the opportunity to shape our patients’ habits about lens care, we must educate them how using a particular cleaning solution can greatly affect their success with lenses.

MAKING SMART CHOICES
Doctors often look to change from one lens brand to another without investigating all the potential causes for a patient’s contact lens comfort problems. Browsing the shelves in the eyecare section of a supermarket or pharmacy your patients will see numerous products that seem suitable. Many of them are generic solutions whose boxes and labeling are remarkably similar to those products that you might recommend. The bottom line: Unless it has been made clear to your patients why a specific solution should be used, they will often look to save money and buy a less expensive multipurpose brand. Little do they know, this could lead to the beginning of contact lens discomfort and wearing issues.

Explain the various options, but keep it simple. Telling patients that different brands of contact lenses interact differently with various solutions is an important step in getting them to listen and understand why you are recommending a particular lens solution. This should include a brief account about how preservatives in some solutions can reduce comfortable wearing time of their contacts.  Among the ECPs I spoke to, John Burns, OD, of Eye Designin Clinton, MD, said, “I always tell patients the brand name and I make a point to tell patients that there is no guarantee that the generic solutions have been tested with all the silicone hydrogel materials available.”

OPTI-FREE RepleniSH multipurpose solution by Alcon is a sterile, buffered, isotonic solution.

Doctors and staff commonly focus on educating new lens wearers about solutions, but tend to be lax about getting existing wearers to stick with the doctor’s recommended solution. I almost feel like it’s not worth reprimanding them for using a generic solution unless they’ve been having problems. This “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” attitude can ultimately hurt the doctor patient relationship because patients could become contact lens dropouts.

Providing every new contact lens wearer with a written document that covers lens cleaning, replacement, wearing time, and what to do if their eyes are uncomfortable, is extremely helpful. New contact lens wearers are hearing a lot of information for the first time and taking home a copy of lens-wearing instructions and the approved contact lens solution will help them follow the guidelines you set and form good habits.

BUILDING BRAND AWARENESS
If you’re fitting a new contact lens wearer, and the lenses are not daily disposable, how do you decide on which multipurpose solution to use? What are the criteria you look at? Here’s a rundown:

•RevitaLens OcuTec Multi-Purpose Disinfecting Solution (Abbott Medical Optics), for use with silicone hydrogel and soft hydrogel lenses, offers broad-spectrum disinfection comparable to peroxide. Revitalens helps prevent lens case contamination by sustaining antimicrobial activity in the lens case. This is helpful for situations in which patients are non-compliant with using the solution properly and tend to top off or reuse solution. It also boasts excellent protein removal and lens cleaning and conditions the lenses for increased lens-wearing comfort that lasts for more than 16 hours per day.

Bausch + Lomb’s Biotrue Multipurpose Solution helps keep lenses moist for up to 20 hours.

•OPTI-FREE PureMoist Contact Lens Solution (Alcon) features HydraGlyde Moisture Matrix which provides a cushion of moisture across the surface of the lens, creating a barrier that reduces deposits and removes dirt. The end result: contact lens comfort that lasts from morning until night. It also contains a proven dual disinfectant system POLYQUAD and ALDOX which acts against harmful microorganisms including bacteria and fungi that can cause eye infections. Lastly, this multipurpose solution reduces oily deposition for clear vision while being gentle enough for sensitive eyes.

•OPTI-FREE RepleniSH multipurpose solution (Alcon) is formulated to provide a high level of moisture for patients wearing all types of contact lenses, including silicone hydrogel. RepleniSH is a sterile, buffered, isotonic solution that contains sodium borate, sodium chloride, propylene glycol, sodium citrate, and preservatives polyquad and aldox. The TearGlyde formulation provides the lenses with a layer of moisture, leading to comfortable wear and clearer vision.

•Bausch + Lomb’s Biotrue Multipurpose Solution matches the pH of healthy tears and contains the same lubricant, hyaluronan, found naturally in the eye. It has a dual disinfection system to kill bacteria and a protein management system to maintain the anti-microbial activity of native tear proteins.

Biotrue helps keep lenses moist for up to 20 hours and can be used with all soft and silicone hydrogel lenses.

•Clear Care (Alcon) hydrogen peroxide system boasts a triple-action cleaning which deep cleans, loosens dirt using a surfactant, and enhances protein removal. Clear Care also kills bacteria and germs that can cause eye infections. It contains no added preservatives. Patients simply rinse their lenses, fill the special lens case provided with solution, and let lenses soak for six hours.

The Sauflon One Step is a preservative-free, peroxide system.

Clear Care is the preferred solution of Rose Susel, OD, of Dunkirk Vision in Dunkirk, MD.  She refers to it as a “hypo-allergenic product that is used in all my sensitive patients, which includes those with allergies to multipurpose solutions as well as some mild tear-compromised patients who insist on CL use.” She discusses solutions and wearing habits with all contact lens patients and makes specific recommendations. Her staff is also trained on the importance of appropriate solutions and relays the same message to their patients.

•The Sauflon One Step is a preservative-free, peroxide system that cleans, disinfects, and removes deposits and protein. This solution combines a non-ionic surfactant cleaner, hydrogen peroxide, and a lubricating agent for enhanced comfort. This system is ideal to use with all soft lenses including silicone hydrogel lenses.

With contact lens dropouts continuing to be a large issue in eyecare practices, it’s well worth your time to discuss the effects of lens care on lens comfort. Take the opportunity to increase patient success with their lenses by making clear recommendations for contact lens solution and care.

Eric L. Bran, Professional Editor of Optometric Office, is in a private group practice in Ridgefield, CT.

WHERE TO FIND IT:

Abbott Medical Optics (AMO) •800-347-5005 •amo-inc.com

Alcon Laboratories •800-451-3937 •alcon.com

Bausch + Lomb  •800-828-9030 •bausch.com

Sauflon USA •800-682-3240 •sauflonusa.com

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