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With eyedrop recall, what consumers should know about protecting eyes

As EzriCare and Delsam Pharma eyedrops have been linked to blindness and even loss of an eyeball, here are tips on how to protect your eyes.
With eyedrop recall, what consumers should know about protecting eyes
Posted at 11:37 AM, Apr 17, 2023

Millions of Americans are afflicted with dry eyes, with about 16 million people diagnosed, based on data from the National Health and Wellness Survey. That’s 6.8 % of the U.S. population. 

Eyedrops are a main remedy for dry eyes, but recent recalls involving eyedrops due to bacterial infections have left consumers with questions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the use of EzriCare and Delsam Pharma artificial tears may be linked to infections that caused blindness. The CDC has reported eight cases of vision loss and three cases of death potentially linked to the use of the drops. Four people have had to have their eyeball surgically removed.

The CDC has encouraged the public to immediately stop using EzriCare and Delsam Pharma artificial tears.

Tips to prevent eye infections

If you’re concerned about eyedrop use, Dr. Daniel Laroche, a New York City eye specialist, recommends the following tips to help prevent eye infections.

1. Try to ensure the eyedrops are made by U.S. manufacturers. It is easier to ensure compliance with FDA manufacturing guidelines. 

2. Wash your hands before and after using eyedrops. 

3. Do not touch the dropper to your eye to avoid contaminating the tip. 

4. Close the eyedrop bottle tightly after each use.

5. Do not use the same eyedrops for multiple people. 

6. Use the eyedrops within one month of opening. 

7.  Store eyedrops away from heat, light and moisture. 

What to do if you've used recalled eyedrops

Consumers who have used EzriCare or Delsam Pharma artificial tears and who have signs or symptoms of an eye infection should seek medical care immediately, the CDC said.

At this time, there is no recommendation for testing of patients who have used this product and who are not experiencing any signs or symptoms of infection.

According to the CDC, eye infection symptoms may include yellow, green or clear discharge from the eye, eye pain or discomfort, and redness of the eye or eyelid. 

EzriCare artificial tears and Delsam Pharma artificial tears are manufactured by Global Pharma Healthcare Private Limited and are available over the counter. 

SEE MORE: Woman sues artificial tears maker after loss of eyeball

The Federal Drug Administration cited violations in manufacturing practices, including lack of appropriate microbial testing, formulation concerns and lack of proper controls related to tamper-evident packaging. Global Pharma initiated a voluntary recall at the consumer level of all unexpired lots of EzriCare artificial tears and Delsam Pharma artificial tears. The FDA, the CDC and state and local health departments are collaborating in an investigation into a multistate outbreak of this rare, drug-resistant strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. 

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