News Releases

April 12, 2006

Emory Eye Center Advises Soft Contact Lens Wearers


Media contacts:
Kathi Baker, 404/727-9371, kobaker@emory.edu
Janet Christenbury, 404/727-8599, jmchris@emory.edu
Joy Bell, 404/778-/3711, jbell@emory.edu

ATLANTA— The FDA and CDC have issued an alert concerning soft contact lens-associated corneal infection. According to the report, there is an association with Bausch & Lomb’s ReNu with MoistureLoc solution. It is the only solution that is implicated. The exact cause of the infection is still unknown.

Although cornea and contact lens specialists at Emory Eye Center have not seen any cases of fusarium keratitis, the rare fungal disease that has been linked to one contact lens solution, they advise any patients currently using the ReNu with MoistureLoc lens solution to dispose of it and their lens storage case. Wearers should replace the lens case and change to other lens multipurpose solutions such as Complete Moisture Plus (AMO) or Optifree Replenish (Alcon). If they experience any pain or redness in their eyes, they should contact their eye doctor immediately.

In rare cases corneal scarring from the infection can lead to permanent damage. Timely treatment with anti-fungal medication is key to successful management.

“We have not seen an increase in contact lens-associated eye infections, but we are always on the lookout for those and other problems,” says Doyle Stulting, MD, PhD, chief of Emory Eye Center’s cornea service. “If anyone is having difficulties with their contact lenses, they should see their eye care provider, who can look for the signs of fusarium keratitis. This is a disease that can be treated, if diagnosed promptly.

“Soft contact lens wear is a safe method of correcting refractive errors. Most complications of contact lens wear occur when users become complacent and don’t follow instructions for lens care,” he continues. “The successful user has a healthy respect for the technology and follows instructions for contact lens care.”

Michael Ward, MMSc, FAAO, director of Emory’s Contact Lens Service concurs that “contact lens wear continues to be a very safe mode of vision correction. Although the ReNu with MoistureLoc solution has been linked to the corneal infection, the exact cause is still unknown.” He strongly recommends good hygiene for contact lens wearers:

• wash hands prior to handling lenses,
• ‘Rub and Rinse lenses with fresh solution after removing; ignore the “No Rub” package labeling
• use fresh solution daily (do not “top-off”),
• rinse and air-dry the lens case daily and scald with freshly boiled water weekly
(air-dry). Replace lens case at least every three months.
Additional information is available on FDA's website:

Public Health Notice: http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/safety/041006-keratitis.html
Centers for Disease Control MMWR

CLAO: Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, An International Educational Association
www.ContactLensDocs.com

Media Contact: Joy H. Bell, jbell@emory.edu, 404-778-3711

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