Wednesday, May 19, 2010

All eyes on eye care - when rubbing it is good

The 2009-2014 Outlook for Contact Lens Care Solutions in the United StatesRubbing your eyes when they are itchy isn't a good move. But for those wearing contact lenses, cleaning the lenses with a rub - well, that's what they say is good, and does the job.

Some things can't be replaced with a simple solution drop and the likes. Not everything can be remedied with quickies, and with that, I mean those products that's supposed to cut the time in half or less, and half the load or so.

Read on...
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No rub? No good
By Eveline Gan, TODAY

SINGAPORE: Before "no-rub" multipurpose solutions came along, cleaning contact lenses was a troublesome affair that involved a 20-second rub-rinse-soak regimen.

Today, for contact lens users like Aza Wee, the modus operandi typically involves a few haphazard squirts of no-rub multipurpose solution to rinse and an overnight soak.

"It really saves time. I'm done cleaning my lenses in less than 10 seconds," said the 18-year-old Serangoon Junior College student, who has been wearing monthly disposable contact lenses for the past two years.

"No-rub" multipurpose solutions which contain surfactants that remove protein, debris and harmful micro-organisms through rinsing and soaking undergo rigorous laboratory tests before they are approved by the Federal Drug Administration for public use.

But eye experts and eyecare practitioners whom TODAY spoke to caution contact lens wearers against taking the "rub" step out of their lens cleaning regimen.

The Eye Care Revolution: Prevent and Reverse Common Vision Problems"No rub is no good," said Prof Donald Tan, deputy director of the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) and director of the Singapore Eye Research Institute.

"All multipurpose solutions in the market pass basic laboratory tests but in the real world, germs may be trapped inside tiny crevices in the contact lens," he said.

"Bacteria can also hide in biofilm that's a thin, resistant layer of micro- organisms that form and coat the surface."

Some contact lenses are also made of "ionic materials that attract deposits", said Dr Stan Isaacs, president of Contact Lens Society of Singapore and practising optometrist who runs a private clinic at Camden Medical Centre.

"Even for monthly disposable lenses, they may get very dirty just after two weeks. If the colony of bugs on the lens surface is too great, soaking the lenses in the solution is not going to help," explained Dr Isaacs.

Reader's Digest Guide to Eye Care: Common Vision Problems, from Dry Eye to Macular DegenerationLapses in contact lens care have caused the rise of eye infections. In 2006, SNEC saw 200 cases of corneal infections. This is more than double the 76 cases seen a decade back in 1996.

Said Prof Tan: "We used to deal with largely bacterial and fungal infections. Now we're also treating parasitic eye infections caused by contaminated water which used to be rare.

"A lot of these cases are due to contact lens problems."

Dr Isaacs, who estimated that there are about 300,000 contact lens users here, said that eye infections can occur when there are "scratches" in the cornea, which are caused by improper contact lens use. Examples include wearing contact lenses to sleep, or wearing ill-fitting lenses.

An extreme example, described by Prof Tan, would be people who use their saliva to clean their contact lenses.

"This is unacceptable. Saliva, as we all know, is very dirty and should not be used to clean your contact lenses," said Prof Tan.

Earth Therapeutics Cucumber Eye Care Unit 1kitDr Wang Jenn Chyuan a cornea, refractive and cataract surgeon at National University Hospital's department of ophthalmology said that while there is no evidence that no-rub multipurpose solutions are ineffective, most practitioners believe that "rubbing, regardless of which disinfecting solution is used, minimises the number of germs on the contact lens and reduces the chances of eye infections".

Presently, while "no-rub" solutions still dominate the market, two brands Bausch and Lomb's and AMO have removed the "no-rub" label on their multipurpose solutions.

Just rubbing your contact lens with your fingers for 20 seconds does "a whole lot of good" and will help to prevent many long-term problems, said Dr Isaacs.

"The physical concept of rubbing kills off 90 per cent of germs on your contact lens.

"Low levels of bugs which you may pick up while handling your lenses will get knocked off by your eyes' defence mechanisms," he added.

Eye care

Natural Eye Care: An EncyclopediaYou've worn your contact lenses for the last ten hours, and you're eager to have them out of your tired, dry eyes. But don't skim through your cleaning regimen, advised eye experts.

Here're the dos and don'ts

Do:
  • wash your hands before you remove your contact lenses
  • rub the lens in the palm of your hand with a few drops of solution, even if you're using a "no rub" product
  • clean your contact lens case with a soft brush, air dry or store with fresh solution prior use
  • replace your contact lens cases once a month
  • only use a multipurpose solution recommended by your eye care practitioner for your contact lens
  • have your eyes checked by an eye care practitioner every six months

Don't
    Eye Care Naturally: A Guide to Prevention and Natural Treatment for Common Eye Conditions
  • wear your contact lenses to sleep
  • wear ill-fitting or expired lenses
  • wear your contact lenses if your eyes feel uncomfortable
  • leave your contact lens case and solution in the toilet where bacteria multiplies rapidly
  • touch the tips of the solution bottle with any surface to avoid contamination. That includes your hands.
  • Wash your contact lens and lens case with tap water which can carry a microorganism called Acanthamoeba that causes serious eye infections. - TODAY/ar



Taken from ChannelNewsAsia.com; source article is below:
No rub? No good
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