ReNu recalled, links to rare eye infection

Bausch ‘ Lomb recently asked retailers to remove their ReNu with MoistureLoc contact solution from shelves because it is being linked to cases of fungal keratitis, an infection that can lead to blindness.

Bausch ‘ Lomb CEO Ron Zarrella explained in a letter on the company’s Web site that the solution hasn’t been proven to cause the infection – it is only associated with it.

“When reports of a rare eye infection, seeming associated with our product, began to surface, we began a series of exhaustive tests on our products,” Zarrella stated. “Nothing has yet been found to show that ReNu with MoistureLoc contributed to these infections in any way.”

Zarrella adds that they pulled the solution and recommend switching to another product until the investigation is concluded.

Walter Morrow, optometrist at Wal-Mart Vision Center in Bowling Green, recommends that people stop using all types of Bausch ‘ Lomb solution.

“They are saying it’s only one particular type of solution, but we’re taking a more aggressive attitude and not recommending any Bausch ‘ Lomb solutions until the problem is resolved,” Morrow said.

According to Morrow, fungal keratitis causes scar tissue to develop on the cornea, which can lead to vision loss and blindness.

“When the fungus starts to grow in the cornea, it causes redness, pain, irritation and cloudy vision,” Morrow said. “Not treated properly, it can lead to severe scarring that causes blindness because the cornea has to remain clear for you to be able to see.”

In the early stages the fungus can be treated by prescription medication, but if scar tissue has developed, it would be permanent unless the person had a cornea transplant, Morrow said.

Jacob Beck, a senior at the University, uses Bausch and Lomb’s contact solution but doesn’t plan on switching any time soon. He said he has used other, cheaper products and likes Bausch ‘ Lomb the best.

“I’m not really worried because it’s probably only affected a small amount of people and I like the solution,” Beck said.

To prevent any type of eye infection, Morrow recommends that contact wearers use multi-purpose solutions that clean, rinse and disinfect contact lenses. Also, wearers should empty their contact case and put in new contact solution every night, they should clean and rinse the contacts with the solution before putting them in, and they shouldn’t wear their contacts to bed.

“Rule number one: Don’t sleep in your contacts,” he said. “Statistically speaking, you’re more likely to get any kind of infection if you sleep in your contacts.”