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Free radicals can cause direct cellular damage, a role increasingly defined in cardiovascular disease, but less distinct in ophthalmology. Preservatives in topical medications are known to cause toxicity and cytotoxic damage to the corneal surface.1 We set out to evaluate if free radicals were present in commonly used ophthalmic preparations and if they were present in sufficient qualities to contribute to ocular surface instability.
Samples of commonly used ophthalmic preparations were analysed for total free-radical presence by indirect analysis via Total Antioxidant Status (TAS kit, RANDOX Laboratories, Crumlin, UK). They were contrasted with preservative-free Minims preparations. Various solutions including 0.5% hydrogen peroxide were also assessed to provide an appropriate reference result. Fifty-six ophthalmic preparations available in outpatients were sampled, including 18 Minims preparations, seven topical …
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