Bausch & Lomb encourages lens wearers to protect eye health

April 17, 2006

The FDA and CDC are alerting healthcare professionals and their patients who wear soft contact lenses to an increasing number of reports of rare but serious fungal infections in the eye that can cause permanent loss of sight.

The FDA and CDC are alerting healthcare professionals and their patients who wear soft contact lenses to an increasing number of reports of rare but serious fungal infections in the eye that can cause permanent loss of sight. Some patients have reported a significant loss of vision, resulting in the need for a corneal transplant. A fungus, called Fusarium, has been identified as the cause of the reported infections. As of April 9, 109 cases of suspected Fusarium keratitis are under investigation by CDC and public health authorities in 17 states. Of the 30 patient cases, 28 wore soft contact lenses and two reported no contact lens use. Twenty-six of the lens users reported using a Bausch & Lomb ReNu brand contact lens solution or a generic brand manufactured by the same company. Five reported using other solutions in addition to the ReNu brand, and nine reported wearing contact lenses overnight. For more information, visit http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/safety/041006-keratitis.html.

Bausch & Lomb has asked U.S. retailers to temporarily stop selling ReNu with MoistureLoc. Even before the Rochester, N.Y., firm made this announcement, some chains have decided to suspend sale of this line. For instance, CVS said it would clear its shelves of ReNu Moisture Loc and ReNu Convenience Pack until the CDC investigation is completed.

Bausch & Lomb is encouraging contact lens wearers to follow American Optometric Association guidelines. These guidelines include the following: carefully and regularly clean lenses; rub the contact lenses with fingers and rinse thoroughly before soaking the lenses overnight in enough solution to completely cover them; store in the proper case and replace the lens storage case every three months.

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