Contact lens concerns
7 Healthcast: Contact lens concerns
"You get a lot of burning sensation, sharp pains across your eye," says Bill Spadafora. He’s describing the fungus infection in his left eye. Bill says his left eye is so sensitive to light that he must wear dark glasses all day long.
The 58-year-old contact lens wearer first started to have eye pain about a month ago. The problem turned out to be an eye fungus that attacks the cornea and can lead to blindness. Bill says, "I was quite scared. Anytime you get a fungus anywhere, especially in the eye, it's scary."
Dr. Kathryn Colby from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary says, "It's very uncommon to have this type of infection in contact lens wearers." Yet doctors are seeing an increase in this fungus eye infection in people who wear contact lenses. Dr. Colby says, "We have three or four active cases at the moment. I would say over the last 12 months we have seen approximately 18-20 cases of fungal infection and that's much higher than we normally see."
The CDC has identified 109 cases of the infection, and in 26 of those Bausch & Lomb's Renu Moistureloc lens solution was used.
Bill says, "That's all I've ever used, Renu solution. I've never used any other product."
Bausch & Lomb has stopped shipping its Renu products and is working with the FDA in this investigation. Bill must use eye drops, eye creams and take pills to fight this infection and hopefully save his sight.
The FDA is continuing to try and identify the source of the fungus.
Bausch & Lomb says it doesn't believe any of its products are at the root of the infection. In the meantime, eye specialists say if you wear contacts make sure you practice proper hygiene. Wash your hands before handling the lenses and follow all eye solution instructions.
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