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Research Links Multipurpose Contact Lens Solutions to Eye Damage

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An eye expert from Hong Kong who spoke at the 8th National Congress on Optometry and Opticianry last week in New York said that evidence indicates that some multipurpose contact lens solutions could be toxic to cells. Dr Gunter Wong said such solutions could damage the corneal epithelium, which could lead to microbial keratitis.

One of the studies Dr. Wong referenced compared Complete MPS Easy Rub (AMO), Opti-free Express, Opti-Free RepleniSH (Alcon) and ReNu MultiPlus (Bausch & Lomb). According to Dr. Wong, that study found that Alcon and Bausch & Lomb solutions could damage cells in the eye. 

In response to that study’s findings, an Alcon spokesperson pointed out that the testing was conducted  in a laboratory, and did not involve any actual contact lens wear, Asiaone.com said.

Dr. Lim Li, a senior consultant ophthalmologist  at the Singapore National Eye Centre, told Asiaone.com that the use of additives in some multipurpose solutions could be behind the problems seen in the study.  Dr. Lim also said that additional compounds such as cleansing agents can affect the surface of the cornea, causing toxicity, and may increase the chances of long-term damage or infection.

Multipurpose contact lens solutions have caused serious eye problems for some users in the past.  For example, in May 2006, Bausch & Lomb issued a worldwide recall of ReNu with MoistureLoc solution after it was linked to an outbreak of Fusarium keratitis, a potentially blinding eye infection.  The Centers for Disease Control ultimately confirmed 180 cases of Fusarium keratitis in the U.S. that were associated with use of the recalled solution.

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