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Contact Lens and Lens Storage Case Cleaning Instructions: Whose Advice Should We Follow?

Wu, Yvonne B.Optom.; Carnt, Nicole B.Optom.; Willcox, Mark Ph.D.; Stapleton, Fiona Ph.D., F.A.A.O.

Eye & Contact Lens: Science & Clinical Practice: March 2010 - Volume 36 - Issue 2 - p 68-72
doi: 10.1097/ICL.0b013e3181cf8aff

Purpose: To identify and compare the current contact lens and lens storage case hygiene recommendations amongst three different advisory sources: manufacturers of contact lens disinfecting solutions, the Food and Drug Administration of USA, and optometrists prescribing contact lenses in New South Wales, Australia.

Methods: A literature review of contact lens and lens case cleaning instructions from the product inserts of five multipurpose disinfecting solutions (AOSept/ClearCare, Aquify, Complete, Opti-free Replenish, and Renu) and the Food and Drug Administration official Web site. In addition, 77 optometrists were surveyed with self-administered questionnaires, which gathered information about hygiene behaviors recommended for lens wearers in routine consultations. The recommendations were tabulated into two tables specific to contact lens and lens case cleaning instructions.

Results: Lens case cleaning instructions were inconsistent, and limited recommendations were available about drying positions, rinsing, and rubbing of lens cases. In comparison, contact lens cleaning instructions were more comprehensive and included lens cleaning time and rubbing motion. However, confusion remained in some of the cleaning instructions, for rinsing and rubbing lenses in particular.

Conclusions: Inconsistent and inadequate contact lens and lens case hygiene recommendations remain prevalent amongst various advisory bodies (industry, regulatory authority, and optometrists). Future research is needed to establish evidence-based contact lens hygiene guidelines.

From the Institute for Eye Research (Y.W., N.C., M.W., F.S.), Sydney, Australia; and School of Optometry and Vision Science (Y.W., N.C., M.W., F.S.), University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Fiona Stapleton, Ph.D., Institute for Eye Research, Level 3, North Wing, Rupert Myers Building Gate 14, Barker Street, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2052, New South Wales, Australia; e-mail:

Accepted December 14, 2009.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.