Physical Properties of Soft Contact Lens Solutions
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PURPOSE: To investigate the physical properties of commercially available soft contact lens solutions. METHODS: The pH, osmolality, surface tension (ST), and viscosity of various soft contact lens solutions were measured at room temperature. Viscosity measurements were also taken at 34 degrees C. The solutions examined were Opti-Free Express (OFX), Opti-Free RepleniSH (OFR), Complete Moisture Plus (COM), UltraCare (UC), ReNu MultiPlus, Sensitive Eyes, AOSept (AO), Clear Care, SoloCare Aqua, and SoftWear saline. The peroxide solutions were measured before and after neutralization. RESULTS: The pH of most solutions was close to neutral (range 7.00-7.36), except for OFX and neutralized AO and Clear Care. The osmolality values of most solutions were in the 275 to 310 mOsm/kg range. OFX exhibited a significantly lower osmolality (225 mOsm/kg; p < 0.001), whereas UC was significantly higher (329 mOsm/kg; p < 0.001). Neutralized AO and SoftWear saline had ST values of approximately 67 mN/m. OFX, OFR, and SoloCare Aqua exhibited low ST values in the 30 to 35 mN/m range. The remaining solutions exhibited intermediate ST values of approximately 40 mN/m. These three groupings were significantly different (p < 0.001). The average viscosity of most solutions at room temperature was between 0.95 and 1.26 cP, except for COM (3.02 cP; p < 0.001). At 34 degrees C, the average viscosity of most solutions was between 0.70 and 0.83 cP, except for COM, which had a viscosity of 1.92 cP (p < 0.001). The un-neutralized peroxide solutions had very different pH and osmolality values from all the solutions that would directly contact the eye (p < 0.001). Their viscosity and ST values were similar (p = NS). CONCLUSIONS: This study detailed many physical properties of soft lens solutions that are not readily available and indicated that certain properties vary significantly among these products.