Contact solution may be linked to dangerous eye fungus

| Wednesday, April 12, 2006

If you’re a contact lens wearer, it might be a good time to pull over – safely – and check the label on your lens solution.

On Monday, April 10, Bausch & Lomb announced that it would temporarily suspend shipment of its ReNu with MoistureLoc contact lens solution, after the Centers for Disease Control announced it was investigating an alleged link between the product and a type of fungus that could lead to blindness.

The Associated Press reported that CDC officials have fielded 109 reports of Fusarium keratitis infection in patients using the solution since July 2005. The eye fungus has been found to lead to blindness if not treated within a few months, according to information from the National Library of Medicine.

Cornea specialists at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami describe the symptoms of Fusarium keratitis as sudden blurred or fuzzy vision, red and irritated eyes lasting for an unusually long period of time. Other symptoms are pain in and around the eyes, increased sensitivity to light and excessive eye tearing.

So far, the CDC has interviewed 30 patients claiming to have the infection, 26 of whom used the ReNu solution, The AP reported.

According to this week’s Web poll on landlinemag.com, about a third of professional drivers wear contact lenses while behind the wheel.

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