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A solution that (1) transforms a hydrophobic surface into a hydrophilic one; (2) acts as a lubricant; (3) helps to clean the surface; (4) helps to prevent contamination of the lens while being inserted. It is spread on both surfaces of a rigid contact lens prior to insertion. However, the effect of a wetting solution only lasts a short time because it is quickly removed by the tear layer. A common wetting agent is polyvinyl alcohol, which also has viscosity building properties. See enzyme; artificial tears.