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Ensuring Eye Safety: Contaminated Eyedrops and Dry Eye Management

dry eyes 640x350Can Contaminated Eyedrops Lead to Blindness or Death?

In February 2023, a concerning incident unfolded as two online eyedrop products were reported to the FDA and subsequently recalled: EzriCare preservative-free artificial tears and Delsam Pharma artificial tears and artificial eye ointment. These products were identified as the culprits behind a multistate outbreak of a severe and sight-threatening bacterial eye infection caused by pseudomonas aeruginosa. This strain of bacteria is alarmingly resistant to most antibiotics, leading to corneal ulcerations, scarring, and irreversible vision loss. In the gravest cases, some individuals even had to undergo enucleation (eye removal) to halt the spread of infection.

Continued Concerns: More Recalls

The concern regarding contaminated eyedrops has persisted with the recent recall of two other products, Berne's MSM Drops 5% Solution and Light Eyes MSM Eye Drops, due to similar instances of contamination. These incidents involved the presence of Bacillus bacteria and Exophiala fungus, which pose serious health risks due to limited treatment options. Another recall involved Clear Eyes Eye Allergy Relief, a product commonly found in local stores, due to bacterial contamination.

Identifying Symptoms and Reporting Adverse Events

It's vital to remain vigilant for symptoms of an eye infection, which may include increased light sensitivity, redness of the eye or eyelid, eye pain or discomfort, persistent foreign body sensation or grittiness, abnormal discharge (green, yellow, or clear), and blurry vision. If you suspect exposure to any of these recalled products, it's crucial to report any adverse events to the FDA through their reporting program at FDA MedWatch.

The Challenge of Dry Eye and the Right Solution

Many individuals rely on artificial tears to combat dry eyes, a condition exacerbated by windy or cooler dry environments. The prevalence of digital device use has contributed to reduced blink frequency, leading to evaporative dry eye symptoms. With a plethora of eye drop options available, selecting the most suitable one can be overwhelming for patients.

At Vision Professionals, we specialize in guiding patients through this maze of choices. If you find yourself requiring artificial tears frequently, it's possible that you're dealing with chronic dry eye, necessitating additional therapies alongside artificial tears. In such cases, scheduling a dry eye consultation with one of our experienced doctors is recommended.

Unveiling the Superior Choice

Water-based tears, which constitute the majority of store-bought artificial tears, might provide temporary relief, but they often exacerbate the issue in the long run. These tears wash away crucial mucins and oils present in your natural tears, leaving you worse off after about an hour. At Vision Professionals, we advocate for professional-grade lipid or oil-based high-performance products, designed with the utmost safety standards in mind, for effective and sustained relief.

The Path to Relief: Personalized Dry Eye Treatment

Our doctors possess the ability to visualize and assess the tear film as well as the oil-secreting meibomian glands. This simple and painless evaluation helps us determine the severity and type of dry eye you're experiencing. Based on these findings, we can create a tailored dry eye treatment protocol just for you. Selecting the appropriate artificial tear is merely the first step; a range of other safe and effective treatments are available to enhance your tear film and alleviate discomfort. Our primary objective is to reduce your reliance on artificial tears, ultimately enhancing your overall eye comfort and well-being.

If you're ready to experience a transformation in your dry eye symptoms, the doctors at Vision Professionals are eager to assist you on this journey.