3 in state suffer vision loss after using solution
Cornea transplants needed, official saysApr 20, 2006 | The Tennessean
Three Tennesseans have suffered significant vision loss and need cornea transplants after using a type of contact lens solution that's suspected by some of causing a fungal eye infection, according to the state Health Department.
Sophie Moery, a spokeswoman for the department, said a fourth case had been confirmed, but that the ReNu with MoistureLoc contact solution was not thought to be the cause.
The solution's manufacturer, Bausch & Lomb, has requested that stores temporarily stop selling the solution until the infections here and elsewhere have been thoroughly investigated.
"Of the four confirmed cases, three wore contact lenses and used the Renu with MoistureLoc solution," Moery said. "It's suspected that the person who wasn't using the solution developed the fungus some other way."
All four Tennesseans who have been diagnosed with the infection need cornea transplants to restore their vision loss, Moery said. They live in Adamsville, Clarksville, McMinnville and Nashville.
The health department is investigating four additional cases, but Moery declined to say where those people live.
Dr. Ira Shivitz, with Cornea Consultants of Nashville, said he thinks those numbers are grossly low. "We've seen eight cases in the last six weeks," he said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that there are 109 suspected cases of the infection, known as Fusarium keratitis, in 17 states.
It causes sudden pain in the eye, redness and blurred vision, and eventually could lead to significant loss of vision or blindness.
Most of the people diagnosed with the infection were using ReNu with MoistureLoc eye solution to clean their contacts.
However, bottles of the solution have been tested by Bausch & Lomb and by independent doctors, and no contamination has been found.
"People experiencing symptoms need to immediately take their contacts out and go see an eye specialist," Shivitz said.