You’ll want to read this if you’re prone to dry eyes and treat them with eye drops.
U.S. officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating whether a specific brand of over-the-counter eyedrops is behind one death and dozens of bacterial infections across several states.
Although the infections are yet to be traced to preservative-free EzriCare Artificial Tears, a majority of people who became ill reported using the drops, according to a CDC statement.
An investigation found the bacterium Psuedomonas aeruginosa, which is resistant to most antibiotics, in bottles of the eye drops. Tests are underway to see if the strains match the patient’s infections.
The CDC has recommended people “immediately discontinue use of EzriCare Artificial Tears until the epidemiological investigation and laboratory analyses are complete.”
At least 50 people in 11 states have been infected with the bacteria. One of the patients died after the bacterium entered their bloodstream.
Standard treatments for bacterial infections are not available to treat the condition because the bacterium is resistant to most antibiotic treatments.
In 11 cases, people developed eye infections. Three were blinded in one eye, and some experienced respiratory or urinary tract infections.
P. aeruginosa infections typically happen in hospital settings in people with weakened immune systems, although the bacteria can be found in water and soil. People can also carry it on their hands.
The eyedrops may have been contaminated during manufacturing or as a person with bacteria on their hands opened them.
It is important to note that the brand being investigated does not contain preservatives to inhibit the growth of germs. As of yet, the product has not been recalled.
If you experience dry eyes, it’s best to stay away from this brand.
Eye infection symptoms include pain and swelling, and sometimes redness, discharge, blurry vision, light sensitivity, and a feeling like something is in your eye. If you’re having any of them, go and see an eye doctor.