ReNu with MoistureLoc is a contact lens solution made by Bausch & Lomb, Inc. In early April, Bausch & Lomb made an announcement advising consumers to stop using ReNu, temporarily, due to concerns that it may be causing a fungal infection which can lead to permanent blindness.
Between June, 2005 and April, 2006 an outbreak of Fusarium keratitis occurred across 17 states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced their investigation into the outbreak on April 10. Bausch & Lomb stopped shipping ReNu with MoistureLoc that day. On April 13, Bausch & Lomb asked retailers to remove the product from their shelves. By mid-May 122 cases of Fusarium keratitis had been confirmed by the CDC and Bausch & Lomb announced a worldwide recall of the product.
Consumers are advised to stop using the dangerous product, return any that they now have to the retailer, and consult with their eye care professional to find a safe alternative contact lens solution, even in countries where no incidents of the infection have been reported.
Fusarium keratitis is an eye infection. If caught early it can be treated with anti-fungal drops. The fungus can affect the entire cornea. If it progresses, surgery is required to remove the legions caused by the fungus. Left untreated, Fusarium infection can cause permanent eye damage and sometimes blindness. Symptoms of Fusarium infection can include:
- Eye pain
- Blurry vision
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Excessive discharge
In February, 2006, Bausch & Lomb suspended sales of ReNu in Singapore and Hong Kong, due to reports of the infection, but delayed in reporting the problem to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Initially it was believed that the infection may be linked to the Greenville, South Carolina, plant. Further investigation shows that may not be the case. The problem may be with the product itself, rather than contamination or tampering. The FDA’s investigation of the Greenville, S.C. factory has uncovered 20 potential violations, including failing to follow procedures to prevent contamination of its equipment. However, test results, so far, have not linked contamination to the outbreak of Fusarium infection.
In a statement released May 15, 2006, the FDA announced that its joint investigation with the CDC is ongoing, scientific testing is still underway, and it will continue to release new information as it is discovered. It expects to announce new results very soon. According to the FDA, “Bausch & Lomb has proposed that unique characteristics of the formulation of the ReNu with MoistureLoc product in certain unusual circumstances can increase the risk of Fusarium infection.” So far, the investigation has not found the problem with the defective product, but there is a disproportionate rate of the infection in users of ReNu with MoistureLoc.
If you use ReNu with MoistureLoc you should stop using it immediately. If you suffer from any of the symptoms of Fusarium infection visit your eye care professional right away. If you or a loved one has developed an eye infection after using ReNu with MoistureLoc, Contact Peter G. Angelos, P.C., of Baltimore Maryland today.