Clear Care contact lens cleaning solution has been linked to eye burns that include serious eye pain and other chemical injuries. Clear Care is manufactured by Ciba Vision.
Although the consumer complaints, which continue, have been ongoing for the past two years, Ciba Vision has not, according to a patient-safety group, appropriately warned consumers about the potential dangers associated with misuse of Clear Care contact lens solution, said Yahoo.
Clear Care contains 3% hydrogen peroxide, a component not typically used in a contact lens rinses. The product must be neutralized in a special Clear Care lens case or the strong cleaning and disinfection solution “will burn and sting your eyes,” according to Ciba Vision warnings just posted on its web site.
Consumers have been using Clear Care in conventional flat contact lens cases to rinse or soak contact lenses prior to insertion in the eye, versus using the product as directed, which involves using the special case constructed with a platinum neutralizer ring and soaking the lenses for six hours, explained Yahoo. Clear Care bottle instructions state that the product should only be used with Ciba Vision’s case.
The system is touted as “clinically proven #1 in comfort,” said Yahoo, which explained that Clear Care lens cleaner’s product label does not fully explain the potential dangers that can occur with improper uses. To date, hundreds of eye injuries have been linked to Ciba Vision’s Clear Care system, according to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP). The ISMP is a nonprofit safety group that has seeking stronger Clear Care product warning labeling for two years.
“This isn’t just a trickle of reports, it’s a gusher,” Michael R. Cohen, president of ISMP, told MSNBC earlier this week as it also released an updated report on the dangers of the Clear Care system. “I think it probably ranks up there with the largest number we have ever seen for one product issue,” Cohen added. Meanwhile consumer complaints posted to just one message board, Yelp, reveal consumers who have suffered eye injuries. “Please tell me that I am not the only yelper who accidentally ‘missed’ the warnings and burned the crap out of my cornea?” wrote one “Yelper. Another wrote, “BURNING. My eye was bright red for pretty much the next 24 hours to the point that I refused to do anything social that didn’t include sunglasses. I’m so paranoid about solution now.” The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) said it has received some 110 reports of eye problems associated with Clear Care, through its MAUDE device monitoring system, said Yahoo.
Ciba Vision made minor label changes in 2011, but Cohen noted that consumers continue to report eye injury issues over using the product incorrectly, said Yahoo. Ciba Vision and the FDA, state that the current labeling is sufficient. “We believed that these changes were adequate to communicate the warnings to the end users,” said FDA spokesperson Sarah Clark-Lyon, wrote Yahoo. Despite the label changes, MAUDE continued to receive complaints including, “My eye slammed shut like I had acid in it and it took me 5 minutes to dig (my contact lens) out. I believe there should be a huge caution banner across the bottle so consumers understand the result of not using their ‘special case’ is that your eye will be burned with peroxide,” according to Yahoo.
Consumer Reports editor Nancy Metcalf told Yahoo that her 24-year-old daughter used Clear Care in her eyes. “She was up in the bathroom screaming. I jammed her eye under the faucet. Her eyes were burning for a couple of days.” Consumer Reports posted a 2010 article about the incident, noting, “Don’t rinse your contact lenses with Clear Care because you’ll burn your cornea.” Other consumers report ER visits over chemical burns, corneal ulcerations, and other eye disorders, said Yahoo. The injury usually calls for wearing an eye patch and treatment with antibiotic eye drops, said MSNBC.
Ciba Vision previously recalled some of its Softperm daily wear contact lenses over safety concerns that the lenses are not sterile and could lead to eye infections. A change to the lens package vial stopper led to CIBA Vision discovering that the lenses’ sterility could have been compromised, according to a release from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The release also explained that the compromised sterility could lead to eye infections, and the pH of the solution in which the lenses are stored could be “out of specification,” causing eye burning and stinging when the contact lenses are inserted in the eye.