Chemistry of Lens Care Systems [ view all articles ]
While much effort is dedicated to prescribing the correct contact lenses for a patient, many practitioners often overlook the importance of lens care systems. This is unfortunate because these systems can be an important tool. In fact, a solutions components and interactions with the lens play a vital role in a patients successful contact lens wear.
The Right Contact Team has dedicated the Solution Database to helping practitioners better understand the various chemical components of contact lens products. Below is a listing of how the chemical components are categorized within the website.
Preservative - A preservative is a naturally occurring or synthetically created substance that is added to a product to prevent bacterial contamination or other undesirable chemical changes.
Buffer - Buffers resist unwanted changes in pH and in the process help prevent deterioration.
Surfactants - A surfactant molecule contains both a water insoluble (or oil soluble) component and a water soluble component enabling them to bind to both protein and water. Surfactants serve as cleaners, especially toward proteins, but also serve as wetting agents.
Disinfecting Agents - Disinfecting agents are substances that are applied to non-living objects to destroy microorganisms.
Chelating Agents - Chelation is the presence of two or more separate coordinate bonds between a polydentate (multiple bonded) ligand and a single central atom. The purpose of chelating agents are to bind to metal ions so they can easily be removed.
Stabilizing Agents - Stabilizing agents are the opposite of catalysts. This is a chemical which tends to inhibit the reaction between two or more other chemicals.
Coloring Agents - A coloring agent is a naturally occurring or synthetically created substance added to a substance to change its physical pigment.
Enzymes - Enzymes are catalysts that work by lowering the activation energy of a reaction.
Osmolarity Agents - Osmolarity agents adjust the composition of the formulation to the desired isotonic range. If the solution is "isotonic", the water concentration is the same on either side, and there is no net movement of water.
Viscosity Agents - Viscosity describes a fluid's internal resistance to flow and may be thought of as a measure of fluid friction.