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More Fungal Eye Infections

Jun 14, 2006 | Fungal infections of the eye are on the rise, according to a report published this week.

A recent spate of fungal infections was widely reported in the media. All infections were linked to contact lens use, and some were linked to Bausch & Lomb's ReNu MoistureLoc contact cleanser solution. The company permanently pulled the product from the shelves.

Now, a report from researchers at the University of Miami raises questions about what is really behind the growing number of infections.

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine reports 34 cases of fungal keratitis associated with soft contact lens use between January 2004 and April 2006. Compare that to the previous numbers from the same institution: only three cases of fungal keratitis between 1969 and 1977, two between 1977 and 1982 and five between 1982 and 1992.

The most recent 34 cases were all associated with a particular kind of fungus known as Fusarium. Only 13 of the patients could remember what kind of contact lens solution they used. Of the 13, 12 reported they used some sort of ReNu brand solution.

The researchers also report it is important to make the diagnosis of a fungal eye infection as quickly as possible. The sooner anti-fungal treatment was administered, the better the outcomes for the patients were.

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