TITLE: Disinfection of tonometers and contact lenses in
the office setting: Are current techniques adequate?
PURPOSE: To determine whether routine office techniques used to
disinfect tonometer prisms and trial contact lenses are sufficient
to prevent transmission of ocular infections.
METHOD: We reviewed the current literature on the efficacy of
certain disinfection protocols against commonly encountered viral,
bacterial, and fungal pathogens as well as Acanthamoeba.
RESULTS: Some commonly used disinfecting solutions and
techniques may be inadequate for disinfection of viruses such as
hepatitis C virus and organisms such as Acanthamoeba. When used in
accordance with guidelines published by the United States Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy
of Ophthalmology (AAO), 3% hydrogen peroxide is a very effective
disinfectant against a wide variety of microorganisms.
Specifically, tonometer prisms disinfected by a 5-minute soak in 3%
hydrogen peroxide (or 70% isopropyl alcohol or a 1:10 dilution of
sodium hypochlorite) are adequately disinfected against most ocular
pathogens, with the exception of Acanthamoeba. Trial contact lenses
that are disinfected with a 2-hour soak in 3% hydrogen peroxide are
effectively rid of all pathogens of concern. After disinfection,
rigid lenses should be stored dry, and soft lenses should be stored
in a sterile, preserved solution. Repeat disinfection should be
routinely performed at 1-month intervals to prevent regrowth of
CONCLUSION: A safe office environment can be maintained by
following current CDC recommendations for disinfection, as well as
instituting some additional procedures. (C)1999 by Elsevier Science
Inc. All rights reserved.
AUTHOR: Smith CA, Pepose JS
SOURCE: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF OPHTHALMOLOGY 127: (1) 77-84 JAN
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