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Contact Lenses Quietly Recalled Leaves Dozens with Eye Injuries

Blurry vision, torn corneas and corneal abrasions are just a few of the serious health problems linked to continued use of recalled contact lenses. Food and Drug Administration officials are threatening to issue a public warning about recalled contact lenses manufactured by CooperVision Inc. and sold nationwide at retailers including Costco, Wal-Mart and LensCrafters.

Avaira Toric contact lenses were voluntarily recalled quietly in August 2011 because of unidentified “residue.” The Food and Drug Administration has alerted the company that a public warning about the dangers of the contact lenses may be issued if they continue to downplay this issue.

MSNBC.com reports that they have identified at least a dozen consumers who have suffered impaired vision, excruciating pain or landed in emergency rooms after wearing the contacts launched in April and recalled in August of this year. The report includes details of victims torn corneas and ongoing vision problems, similar to problems suffered by wearers of cosmetic contact lenses that were recalled earlier this year.

“It is very frustrating that they’re not more vocal about it and that the FDA hasn’t warned more people … a corneal abrasion is one of the most painful things you can have,” said an Atlanta mother who said she suffered two corneal abrasions this summer after wearing Avaira Toric contact lenses.

CooperVision’s website does include a fill-in box where customers can check to see if their lots are affected; but it does not include a list of retailers who sold the dangerous contact lenses, or a list of affected lots. Learn more details about the recall at eFoodAlert, a blog dedicated to food safety and recalls.

UPDATE – November 16, 2011. CooperVision is now recalling almost 5 million Avaira Sphere contact lenses. Both the Toric and Sphere brands are suspected to be contaminated with silicone oil residue and linked to blurred vision, eye injuries and severe pain. See the msnbc report for details. 

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