Web Zap*Germs Archive

April 25, 2006

Update on ReNu and Fusarium Risk

From today's WaPo, some additional detail on the scary situation for contact-lens wearers. Apparently many users are "confused and concerned. Eye doctors report a surge in calls from users of Bausch & Lomb's ReNu with MoistureLoc MultiPurpose Solution, which the company has asked retailers to stop selling."

Bausch has already pulled all product from store shelves, and last week the FDA told users to throw away any bottles of ReNu with MoistureLoc MultiPurpose Solution that they still have. There are 167 confirmed cases of fusarium keratitis fungus.

Florida has the highest number of fusarium cases (50) in the country, which is interesting because the fungus is usually found in tropical/subtropical soil and plants.

Fusarium infection is so rare that many eye doctors say they've never seen a case. Symptoms include redness, blurry vision, discharge, swelling, tearing, pain and increased sensitivity to light. However, simple itchiness is likely just Spring allergies.

An ophthalmologist interviewed by WaPo "advises contact wearers who experience eye irritation to switch to glasses. If symptoms persist beyond a few hours, experts recommend seeing a doctor -- or going to the emergency room if symptoms are severe. A fusarium keratitis infection can be confirmed through a culture taken at a doctor's office. Treatment for the infection usually begins with medications; if that's not effective, surgery -- including a cornea transplant -- may be necessary."


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