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Constance Cox; Contact lens case-related infections are reduced by using a specific method of cleaning. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):1495.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: Many of the infectious determinants of microbial keratitis (MK) have been linked to the storage case and hygiene routine of contact lenses (CL). In many cases, the offending microorganisms can be cultured from the contact lens case (CLC). Thus far, no definitive method of prevention of CLC contamination has been published to the best of my knowledge, yet CLC infection can lead to significant morbidity and blindness in some cases. This experimental study aimed to determine a reliable, facile method of reducing CL-related MK. I hypothesize that by consistently cleaning the contact lens case in a methodical fashion, the contamination of the case will be reduced significantly, and consequently a reduction in the incidence of MK will follow.
Methods: Forty CLCs were chosen randomly and were cleaned in the following way: hands were washed and dried followed by cleaning the inside and outside of the CLCs using 70% isopropyl alcohol pads in three consecutive passes, followed by rinsing of the case with CL multipurpose solution and drying with a clean tissue. Easily-obtained materials were purposefully used to facilitate applicability to the average CL user. One group of twenty CLC were cultured at one week, and another group of twenty was cultured at two weeks. The culturing was performed at an independent public diagnostic testing laboratory. This experiment was repeated three times in total.
Results: The results were repeatable in each of the three experiments: there was no growth of bacteria in the CLCs at one week and 20% – 25% bacterial growth seen in CLCs cultured at two weeks.
Conclusions: Our results are consistent with our hypothesis in that by cleaning the CLC using a specific method, contamination of the case is reduced. Also, cleaning once per week (and not as long as two weeks), is important to avoid CLC infection. A future longitudinal study with CL wearers being randomized to either using this method or not using this method would enable the results to be taken to a clinical level.
This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
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