US confirms 102 infections in contact lens blindness scare

Discussion in 'Contact Lenses' started by ckw, May 6, 2006.

  1. ckw

    ckw Guest

    US confirms 102 infections in contact lens blindness scare
    May 05 3:20 PM US/Eastern

    US health authorities said they have confirmed 102 cases of a serious
    eye infection that has left contact lens maker Bausch and Lomb Inc.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that of the
    total, it had complete data indicating that 54 sufferers had used
    Bausch and Lomb cleaning solutions.

    Data on all of the 102 cases are still coming in. But 25 states spread
    across the country have reported at least one confirmed or possible
    case, the CDC said in a statement.

    Another 12 cases are listed as "possible" and 81 are still under
    investigation in a total of 31 US states, it said.

    Bausch and Lomb has been forced to yank its best-selling solution ReNu
    with MoistureLoc from sale after the spate of infections of fungal
    keratitis, a painful inflammation of the cornea that can lead to

    Its troubles deepened on Wednesday when two law firms announced they
    were launching a class-action lawsuit against the company.

    The Mason and Peter N. Wasylyk firms named one plaintiff in the suit,
    Barbara Cavallaro of Rhode Island, who they said needed a corneal
    transplant in late December and will also require surgery on

    The CDC cautioned that not all of the infections involved people who
    used Bausch and Lomb solutions exclusively, saying that three involved
    Alcon solutions and another three were linked to Advanced Medical
    Optics solutions.

    But it noted that some of the users may have used more than one
    company's solutions before becoming infected with fungal keratitis.

    It added that the disease occurs naturally in the environment and the
    increase in cases may have resulted from greater public awareness of
    the condition, because of recent media coverage of Bausch and Lomb.

    The company has suspended production of ReNu with MoistureLoc at the
    plant in South Carolina from which the US market is supplied. But
    Bausch and Lomb says markets in Europe and most of Asia are supplied
    from other plants.

    Nevertheless, Bausch had already stopped sales of its ReNu
    multi-purpose solutions in Singapore and Hong Kong after a spate of
    keratitis infections among lens users there since February.

    And retailers across the world have been taking no chances, stripping
    Bausch and Lomb products from their shelves.
    ckw, May 6, 2006
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  2. ckw

    LarryDoc Guest

    A reality check here.

    Fact 1: In the USA, there are approximately 30 million contact lens
    users. A hundred or so have the fungal infection. 6 of those have lost
    some vision as a result. That's 6 out of 30 million.

    Fact 2: Worldwide, there are approximately 100 million contact lens
    users and about 200 hundred reported cases.

    This is but a "drop in the bucket."

    Fact3: B&L's Renu with MoistureLoc accounts for 10 % of those (USA)
    users and it would be obviously statistically associated that those
    people are in the affected group.

    Fact4: The fungus exists in the dirt. You wash your hands with soap and
    water and it's gone. The people who have had infections have to not
    practiced basic contact lens hygiene.

    Perhaps the B&L product does not provide appropriate disinfection to
    kill this fungus. But simple hand washing would be take care of the
    problem in any event. The few people who have had serious
    vision-threatening complications had that happen because they did not
    follow sensible contact lens care, ignored their symptoms and did not
    seek appropriate medical care or if they did so, were incorrectly
    diagnosed and inappropriately treated. Hence 6 out of 30 million.

    Contact lenses do not cause infections. People do it to themselves.

    LB, O.D.

    FYI: I have no financial interest in B&L and actually do not use their
    lens care products in my practice. I do use their silicone hydrogel
    LarryDoc, May 7, 2006
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  3. ckw

    Quick Guest

    Well... I didn't intentionally do it to myself. Years before I
    wore contacts I contracted a fungal infection in my eye while
    playing golf for a week in Myrtle Beach, NC (lots of swamps).
    I think there were a lot less than 5 million there that week.

    Quick, May 7, 2006
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