Toxic Contact Lens Cleaner a Long-Term Problem
August 08, 2006
Several months ago, Bausch and Lomb recalled their multipurpose contact lens solution ReNu with MoistureLoc after it was connected to eye infections caused by the fusarium fungus.
Researchers had warned of the risks of solutions such as ReNu as many as nine years ago, but manufacturers of contact lens cleaners, particularly Bausch and Lomb, downplayed the concerns.
In the late '90s, a study showed that Bausch and Lomb's ReNu MultiPlus did not kill potentially dangerous bacteria as well as other brands. Bausch and Lomb contested the research, pointing to research they had conducted themselves that contradicted the study's results.
Some researchers are now worried that some solution brands may damage the surface of the eye, in a process called corneal staining. Studies have also shown that multipurpose solutions can increase the binding of bacteria to the cells of the cornea. And a 2005 study found that lenses left soaking in ReNu with MoistureLoc could end up "covered with what appeared to be fungus."The FDA has promised to re-evaluate its testing methods for contact lens solutions.