Multipurpose Contact Lens Solution Linked to Eye Problems
A new study indicates that some multi-purpose contact lens solutions can make the eye more susceptible to damage and infection than others by causing cell damage that strips away the eyes’ natural protective barriers.
The study’s results were announced at the Eighth National Congress on Optometry and Opticianry in Singapore last week, and suggest that some brands of contact lens solution, such as ReNu MultiPlus by Bausch & Lomb, and Opti-free Express and Opti-Free RepleniSH by Alcon, are cytotoxic, meaning they are toxic to cells. The researchers indicate that the solutions may damage the corneal epithelium, which works as the outer protective barrier of the cornea, leading to a higher risk of corneal inflammation known as microbial keratitis.
Bausch & Lomb and Alcon have questioned the findings, according to a report in The New Paper. They pointed out that the studies were partially funded by competitor Advanced Medical Optics (AMO), whose Complete MPS Easy Rub was found to be non-cytotoxic, and the study was a laboratory test that was not actually conducted on contact lens wearers.
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Multipurpose solutions, which are “all-in-one” products for cleaning, rinsing, disinfecting and storing contact lenses, have been linked to serious eye problems before, including eye infection outbreaks that led to major recalls for Bausch & Lomb’s ReNu with MoistureLoc in April 2006 and AMO’s Complete MoisturePLUS in May 2007.
ReNu with MoistureLoc was pulled from store shelves after it was linked to an outbreak of fungal eye infections, known as Fusarium keratitis. The infection is difficult to recover from and resulted in many users requiring corneal transplant surgery or having their eye removed.
Bausch & Lomb has reportedly paid out more than $250 million to settle about 600 ReNu with MoistureLoc lawsuits for users who suffered Fusarium keratitis. They also faced a number of lawsuits alleging that the solution caused non-fungal eye infections. However, a federal judge in South Carolina excluded expert testimony in those cases last month, ruling that the expert relied on unsupported hypothesis to reach the conclusions and that attorneys provided no supporting data to back up the theories that the multipurpose lens solution caused non-fungal infections.
In May 2007, one year after the Fusarium keratitis outbreak, AMO issued a Complete MoisturePLUS recall for their multipurpose solution after it was linked to an outbreak of Acanthmoeba keratitis, which is a microbial eye infection caused by a parasite that invades the cornea. The infection is typically associated with contact lens wearers who do not properly clean their lenses, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that AMO Complete MoisturePlus users were up to seven times more like to contract the infection.
According to a June 2009 report by the Associated Press, AMO received at least nine reports of customers who contracted Acanthamoeba keratitis starting as early as February 2006. However the company did not turn those reports over to the FDA and continued to sell their multipurpose contact lens cleaner without taking steps to protect the public for more than a year.
More than 100 people have filed an Acanthamoeba keratitis lawsuit against AMO after suffering severe injuries to their eyes and vision after using Complete MoisturePlus contact lens solution, including claims for corneal transplants, blindness and eye removals.
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MelissaJune 2, 2015 at 1:22 pm
I am currently experiencing blurred eyesight, red swollen eyes, loss of vision, etc. the doctor told me its a massive infection from opti free contact solution.... It's super scary experiencing this and knowing something you try Ro Use to help clean your eyes is damaging your vision and eye sight permanently. I need a lawyer or support to know what to do for a claim against this company for my suf[Show More]I am currently experiencing blurred eyesight, red swollen eyes, loss of vision, etc. the doctor told me its a massive infection from opti free contact solution.... It's super scary experiencing this and knowing something you try Ro Use to help clean your eyes is damaging your vision and eye sight permanently. I need a lawyer or support to know what to do for a claim against this company for my suffering, vision loss and night blindness!
shanonMarch 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm
Joann.....i am having the same problem as u....my eyes are super sensitivit to any light...the burn and hurt all the time. I have contacted the company but they just want me to send them the bottle. I would like to know if u have had long term effects. ....i am seeking legal council. ....
HeatherMay 30, 2012 at 6:59 pm
What would you recommend using instead of a Multi-purpose solution?
cindyFebruary 21, 2010 at 7:13 am
i have used a lot of solution i would pour it in my eye and now i have retina degneration and i want to know could the solution caused this problem
JoannNovember 7, 2009 at 2:31 pm
I recently have gotten an eye infection It had swollen my eye together I am not better still I kept trying to figure out what I could have done to cau se this to happen Last night I started looking up causes on the internet I found out that when I got contacts a few weeks ago my eye doctor had sold me a bottle of opti-free replenish and Isaw on the internet where it was causing problems for people[Show More]I recently have gotten an eye infection It had swollen my eye together I am not better still I kept trying to figure out what I could have done to cau se this to happen Last night I started looking up causes on the internet I found out that when I got contacts a few weeks ago my eye doctor had sold me a bottle of opti-free replenish and Isaw on the internet where it was causing problems for people I dont know if thats my problem or not but I was fine until I started using it Now my eye is infected my blood pressure is going up because of the infection and my eye is sesitive to bright light I dont know if it will get better Why did my eye doctor give me something that could cause this If the product isnt good I think they should take the product off the shelf
BarrySeptember 9, 2009 at 11:29 pm
Bausch & Lomb has caused thousands of eye infections and j ust keeps making bad products. Products that have metal in it, solution that fails test parameters and solutions that they know will hurt peoples eyes.
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