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Rare Infection Found in Georgia

This is a discussion on Rare Infection Found in Georgia within the May 2006 forums; A recent outbreak of a rare eye infection has caused concern among many contact lens ...


 
 
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Old 05-11-2006, 12:56 PM
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Default Rare Infection Found in Georgia

A recent outbreak of a rare eye infection has caused concern among many contact lens wearers in Georgia, but the head of the Georgia Optometric Association says that the risk of obtaining the infection is slight if those who wear contact lenses take some basic precautions.

"U.S. health officials are on alert after a recent outbreak of severe corneal infections associated with contact lens wearers in Asia began surfacing in the United States," says Dr. Chris Hobson, president of the Georgia Optometric Association. "Under normal circumstances, the occurrence of fusarium keratitis and permanent blindness reported cases (more than 175 in 27 states, including Georgia) seems to be confined primarily to contact lens users of one brand of contact lens solution, ReNu with MoistureLoc by Bausch & Lomb.

This product has been pulled from the market, but there are many kinds of eye infections, including fungal infections, that can cause serious Eye Health problems if proper lens care procedures are not followed on a routine basis."

In addition to returning or disposing of any of the recalled lens cleaner, Hobson recommends the following basic lens care procedures to reduce the risk of contamination:

Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses.

Carefully and regularly clean contact lenses, as directed by your optometrist. If recommended, rub the contact lenses with fingers and rinse thoroughly before soaking lenses overnight in sufficient multi-purpose solution to completely cover the lens. Store lenses in the proper lens

storage case and replace the case every three months. Clean the case after each use, and keep it open and dry between cleanings.

Use only products recommended by your optometrist to clean and disinfect your lenses. Saline solution and re-wetting drops are not designed to disinfect lenses.

Only fresh solution should be used to clean and store contact lenses. Never re-use old solution. Contact lens solution must be changed according to the manufacturer's recommendations, even if the lenses are not used daily.

Always replace old contacts when you get a new contact lens prescription.

Always keep a backup pair of glasses.

When wearing or cleaning contacts, Hobson recommends the following:

Never put contact lenses in the mouth or moisten them with saliva, which is full of bacteria and a potential source of infection.

Don't use tap water or homemade saline solutions. Improper use of solutions has been linked to a potentially blinding condition among soft lens wearers.

Never use contacts that have not been prescribed by an eye doctor. Contact lens wear is not an option for everyone; consult with an optometrist to see if contact lenses are an appropriate choice for vision correction.

Hobson also recommends that contact lens wearers pay close attention to how their eyes feel.
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