ReNu with MoistureLoc Contact Lens Solution
"ReNu with MoistureLoc" is a brand of contact lens solution manufactured by Bausch & Lomb. On April 13, 2006, Bausch & Lomb announced that it is withdrawing all U.S.-manufactured ReNu with MoistureLoc products and is recommending that consumers stop using ReNu with MoistureLoc immediately, because of a possible link between use of Renu with MoistureLoc and the development of serious fungal eye infections which may result in blindness if left untreated. (Read the full Press Release from Bausch & Lomb)
Federal Health Agency Action
In addition to the market withdrawal of ReNu with MoistureLoc by the manufacturer, both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to investigate reports of fungal infection ("fusarium keratitis") in contact lens wearers, in an effort to determine all contributing factors and/or products that place contact lens wearers at increased risk. On April 21, 2006 the FDA issued an updated Public Health Notification on the recent rise in reports of serious fungal eye infections in contact lens users, noting that some infections are serious enough to cause vision loss. The FDA recommended that healthcare providers advise patients to stop using Bausch & Lomb's "ReNu with MoistureLoc" contact lens solution products immediately, and instructed consumers to stop using Bausch & Lomb "ReNu with MoistureLoc" products and discard all remaining MoistureLoc solution, including partially used or opened bottles. (Read the FDA Announcement)
On April 10, 2006, CDC stated that it received reports of 109 cases of suspected fungal keratitis in 17 different states. Although the majority of case patients have yet to be interviewed, complete data are available for 30 of them. Twenty-eight of the 30 wore soft contact lenses. Preliminary information obtained by CDC from patient interviews indicates that 26 of these patients remembered which products they used, and that all 26 Among the 26 patients for whom complete data were available, all 26 reported using a Bausch & Lomb ReNu brand contact lens solution in the month prior to the onset of infection. FDA and CDC investigation into these cases is continuing. (Read the CDC Dispatch)
Fungal Eye Infections - "Fungal (Fusarium) Keratitis"
Fungal (fusarium) keratitis is a severe fungal infection of the cornea. Risk factors for infection include contact with the cornea (generally with plant material), and rarely, contact lens use. According to the CDC, there is a potential link between the development of fungal keratitis and use of soft contact lenses. CDC estimates that there are 30 million soft contact lens users in the United States. The annual incidence of fungal keratitis is estimated to be 4-21 per 10,000 soft contact lens users, depending on overnight lens use (which increases the chances of developing the condition). A condition more prevalent in warm climates, fusarium keratitis is not contagious, and is not transmitted from person to person.
Symptoms. Although they may vary in terms of occurrence and severity, symptoms of a fungal keratitis infection can include:
- Pain or inflammation in the eye
- Eye watering or tearing
- Blurred vision, and
- Unusual sensitivity to light.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are a contact lens user, you should take your lenses out immediately and contact an eye care professional.
Treatment. Fungal keratitis can be treated with anti-fungal medications (administered as eye drops or in pill form), and treatment should start as soon as possible after the infection is discovered. Patients who do not respond to medical treatment will usually require surgical intervention, including corneal transplantation to correct potential vision loss.
Eye Care Advice for Contact Lens Users
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the following eye care advice for contact lens users:
- Stop using Bausch & Lomb "ReNu with MoistureLoc" products and discard all remaining MoistureLoc solution including partially used or opened bottles.
- Consult your eye care professional concerning use of an appropriate alternative cleaning/disinfecting product.
- Consider performing a "rub and rinse" lens cleaning method, rather than a no rub method, regardless of which cleaning/disinfecting solution used, in order to minimize the number of germs and reduce the chances of infection.
- Continue to follow proper lens care practices:
- Wash hands with soap and water, and dry (lint-free method) before handling lenses.
- Wear and replace lenses according to the schedule prescribed by the doctor.
- Follow the specific lens cleaning and storage guidelines from the doctor and the solution manufacturer.
- Keep the contact lens case clean and replace every 3-6 months.
- Remove the lenses and consult your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms such as redness, pain, tearing, increased light sensitivity, blurry vision, discharge or swelling.
For more detailed information about contact lens solution safety and fungal keratitis, ask your eye health care professional.
ReNu with MoistureLoc: Getting Legal Help
Manufacturers of eye care products have a duty to make those products as reasonably safe as possible, and to inform consumers of any known risks associated with the product's use. If a manufacturer fails to do so, it can be held responsible to consumers who are injured as a result of inadequate warnings or the unreasonably dangerous nature of the product, under a legal theory called "product liability."
If you have used ReNu with MoistureLoc and experienced any unusual side effects (including eye infection), you should contact an eye care professional at once. You should also contact an experienced attorney to discuss and protect your legal rights in connection with any harm caused by ReNu with MoistureLoc.
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Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.