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March 1979

Evaluation of Soft Contact Lens Disinfection in the Home Environment

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Iowa Lions Cornea Center, University Hospitals, Iowa City. Dr Pitts is currently in private practice in Houston.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1979;97(3):470-472. doi:10.1001/archopht.1979.01020010220005

• Recent reports of bacterial corneal ulcers in cosmetic soft contact lens wearers prompted an evaluation of one possible source of contamination, inadequate home disinfection of the lenses. Twenty-nine patients were asked to come for an early morning examination. They were told not to wear their lenses so their usual home disinfection procedure could be observed. On arrival, extensive bacterial and fungal cultures were taken of the solution in the previously unopened cases. Ten of the 29 patients (34.5%) had contaminated cases. Some patients did not follow the manufacturer's disinfection guidelines. The current disinfection procedure has repeatedly proven adequate in the laboratory. However, the practical fact is that a substantial percentage (34.5% in this study) of soft lens wearers are inadequately disinfecting their lenses. This serves as a possible source of contamination leading to bacterial corneal ulcers.