There is much more to my reasons for quitting my use of ReNu MultiPlus than mere preference. I switched due to increasing health dangers that were coming to my attention. I will present in this product comparison my reasons for originally using ReNu MultiPlus, the health concerns that caused me to switch from using ReNu MultiPlus to using Clear Care, and the unique features of the Clear Care system that make it stand out from other contact lens cleaning systems.
Ever since I switched from glasses to contact lenses several years ago, I have used Bausch & Lomb ReNu MultiPlus no rub contact lens cleaner and disinfectant — that is, until about 2 months ago. I knew other people that used ReNu MultiPlus, and more than one eye doctor had recommended it. I didn’t have any glaring problems with it, so I kept on using it. I didn’t think I ever needed to rub my lenses (after all, it was a “no rub” solution, right?) until about a year ago when my eye doctor spotted some hardening of small vessels under my eyelids, a condition called giant tapillary conjunctivitis. He said it was a condition that could be mostly reversed, but if I did everything the same way I always had, it would worsen. He said rubbing the lens was important, even with a “no rub” solution, such as ReNu MultiPlus. So for the next year I squirted a pool of ReNu MultiPlus in the palm of my hand and gently rubbed the contact lens around a bit, then either stuck in it its case or into my eye.
ReNu MultiPlus had always made my contact lens wear a pretty comfortable experience. For those that also wear contact lenses, you know of the times when you put the lens in your eye but some tiny fuzz or hair must have still been stuck to the lens because as soon as you put the lens in, your eye was excruciating and you barely could keep your eye open long enough to get the lens back out! A quick squirt with ReNu MultiPlus always remedied that problem, and I was able to reinsert the contact lens into my eye. Upon insertion of the lens at any time, there was always a slight and fairly brief sting that accompanied the placement of the lens from the ReNu MultiPlus solution remaining on the contact lens; the sting was worse if my eyes were already sensitive, in cases where I hadn’t gotten a lot of sleep, had been crying, etc. But I thought that was just par for the course of wearing contact lenses. Little did I know there was a better option.
Within the year of my practice of rubbing my lenses with the ReNu MultiPlus solution, I became aware of a great website called Skin Deep, a personal care safety database and a product of the Environmental Working Group, or EWG. A quote from the website states “Skin Deep pairs ingredients in nearly 25,000 products against 50 definitive toxicity and regulatory databases” basically because companies can put virtually any ingredient into personal care products and the government does not require pre-market safety tests for any of them. So as I eagerly began to utilize this database checking up on the safety of my current personal care products, it occurred to me, “I wonder how bad the chemicals in my ReNu MultiPlus is?” so I looked up one of the first ingredients, which was boric acid. I found that in Canada, boric acid is on their list of “Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetics Ingredients” and in Japan, it is “prohibited for use in cosmetics” in addition to a plethora of other restrictions and dangers that multiple other regulatory agencies have found. Skin Deep gives boric acid an overall rating of 7 out of 10, with 10 being the most dangerous. So I glanced at some other bottles of “no rub” solution at Wal-Mart, only to find that most had boric acid and a multitude of other chemicals. So I figured I was stuck with boric acid or with not wearing contact lenses. I kept on using ReNu MultiPlus but I vowed to ask my eye doctor at my next yearly appointment if there was a more natural alternative for contact lens solutions.
Then came the widely publicized findings that ReNu MoistureLoc could cause the dangerous fungus Fusarium keratitis, blindness, or corneal ulcers and the ReNu MoistureLoc variety was recalled worldwide, with some evidence that other Bausch and Lomb contact lens products may also be affected. In fact, in making sure I had my facts correct for this article concerning ReNu products, just today I found that “There are now several accounts of MultiPlus users contracting the fungal eye infection once thought to only affect MoistureLoc users.”
My appointment rolled around and fortunately, my eye doctor pointed me in the direction of Clear Care One Bottle Solution for Cleaning and Disinfecting. Clear Care solution requires a very unusual contact lens case – it is upright and you place the contact lens directly onto a domed area which is secured by a hinged, domed lid with openings, duplicated on the other side for the other lens. There is a grooved metal ring located beneath, and attached to, the domed case where the contact lenses reside. This whole contraption goes inside of a film canister-looking container that is clear with a line that you are to fill the solution up to. There is no boric acid, and according to Skin Deep, the other ingredients in Clear Care aren’t very harmful, or are completely benign with a rating of 0. Clear Care’s main ingredient is micro-filtered hydrogen peroxide 3% which is neutralized by the special metal ring (hydrogen peroxide in its straight form can be harmful in certain applications according to Skin Deep, but neutralized hydrogen peroxide is just water). As soon as the solution containing the hydrogen peroxide hits the metal, hundreds of little bubbles begin to form and migrate up through the solution, through and over the domed home to the lenses, and to the surface of the solution. This process continues until the hydrogen peroxide is neutralized, 5 to 6 hours later. The bubbling action cleans the contact lenses better than rubbing can, my doctor informed me, and even with giant tapillary conjunctivitis, I don’t have to rub at all, ever when using Clear Care! At the conclusion of the 6 hours, the solution is so neutral that you can wet your finger with it, and when the lens goes in your eye, there is no amount of stinging sensation, EVER. The Clear Care bottle says on the front “Clinically proven #1 in comfort”. I would have to agree. The only drawbacks to Clear Care are that if you need to put your contacts back in in less than 6 hours, the solution will not be neutralized, and you are not able to put your contact lenses back in. So you may want to have a back up solution on hand in the event you need to store your contact lenses for a period of time less than 6 hours. The Clear Care system is also slightly more expensive than ReNu MultiPlus with the traditional case.
Clear Care has been a perfect solution (no pun intended) to what I’ve been looking for because my mind is at ease knowing I’m not putting boric acid into my eyes (or hands), there is never any sting, it’s kind of cool to be able to see the cleaning (bubbling) action going on right in front of your eyes, and I truly never have to rub!