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Brief: Health Department Issues Warning About Contact-Lens Solution

May 29, 2007 — Contact-lens wearers should immediately stop using Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) Complete Moisture Plus Multi-Purpose Solution and throw the bottle away.
AMO is voluntarily recalling the product. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have both identified an outbreak of a serious but rare eye infection called Acanthamoeba keratitis, known simply as AK, which they connect to this soft-contact-lens solution. The Department of Health is distributing the national warning locally.
AK primarily affects otherwise healthy people, most of whom wear soft contact lenses. The CDC has received reports of 138 confirmed cases of AK in 35 states and Puerto Rico, according to a Health Department news release.
"The infection is caused by a microscopic organism found everywhere in nature," said Health Department Epidemiologist Dr. Eugene Tull. "Infections can result in permanent visual impairment or blindness."
CDC patient interviews indicate that, among affected soft-contact-lens users who reported using any type of solution, 58 percent said they used Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) Complete MoisturePlus Multi-Purpose Solution in the month prior to their eye symptoms.
The CDC is urging those evaluating contact-lens users to consider AK and refer to an ophthalmologist, if appropriate, patients with symptoms of eye pain or redness, tearing, decreased visual acuity, discharge, sensitivity to light or foreign-body sensation. If you have used this particular lens solution:
— Stop using the product immediately and discard all remaining solution including, partially used or unopened bottles. Choose an alternative contact-lens solution.
— Discard current lens-storage container.
— Discard current pair of soft lenses.
— See a health-care provider if you experience any signs of eye infection: eye pain, eye redness, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, a sensation of something in the eye or excessive tearing.
All contact-lens users should closely follow prevention measures to help prevent eye infections, which include:
— Seeing an eye-care professional for regular eye examinations.
— Wearing and replacing contact lenses according to the schedule prescribed by an eye-care professional.
— Removing contact lenses before any activity involving contact with water, including showering, using a hot tub or swimming.
— Washing hands with soap and water and drying them before handling contact lenses.
— Cleaning contact lenses according to the manufacturer's guidelines and your eye-care professional’s instructions.
— Using fresh cleaning or disinfecting solution each time lenses are cleaned and stored. Never reuse or top off old solution.
— Refraining from using saline solution and re-wetting drops to disinfect lenses. Neither solution is an effective or approved disinfectant.
— Storing reusable lenses in their proper storage case.
— Rinsing storage cases with sterile contact lens solution (never use tap water) and leaving them open to dry after each use.
— Replacing storage cases at least once every three months.
Clinicians or microbiology laboratories should report cases of AK to Dr. Tull at (340) 773-1311, ext. 3241.
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