CooperVision Quietly Recalled Contact Lenses Amid Reports of Torn Corneas, Vision Problems

While contact lens wears were suffering from blurry vision and agonizing pain that, in some cases, led to emergency room hospital visits, CooperVision was recalling <"">Avaira Toric contact lenses in what one popular blogger described as a “stealth recall.” Now, federal health officials are considering issuing a public warning about the popular contact lenses, which are sold at Costco, Wal-Mart, and LensCrafters.

CooperVision, located in Fairport, New York, has ignored the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) request to expand its recall of Avaira Toric contact lenses, said Limited lots of the lenses were quietly recalled in the U.S. this summer over an unidentified “residue,” said But a broader international notification, which included Hong Kong (the Hong Kong notice states that the lenses were also recalled in Canada, Germany, and Italy), Australia, and Spain, was issued for hundreds of additional lots. However, CooperVision has not widened its U.S. notification, said

Meanwhile, a number of contact lens wearers told that the notice is too long coming after having suffered horrendous pain, vision problems, and hospital visits. About one dozen customers have come forward, so far, to the news outlet, it said.

“It is very frustrating that they’re not more vocal about it and that the FDA hasn’t warned more people,” said Mellisa Cotton, 40, of Atlanta, Georgia. Cotton was diagnosed with two corneal abrasions after wearing her Avaira Toric lenses. “Next to labor, a corneal abrasion is one of the most painful things you can have,” she said, reported MSNBC.

Dan O’Neil, 50, of Hampton, Virginia, said his 15-year-old daughter, Erin, was in so much pain after wearing her Avaira Torics—from a newly opened box he purchased at Wal-Mart—she was rushed to the hospital, wrote “I noticed what first looked like a torn piece of contact on her eye…. Upon closer examination, I realized that what I was seeing was Erin’s cornea torn and rolled back,” he told Erin was diagnosed with a severe corneal tear and was treated with pain and antibiotic medications; her parents only learned of the recall after Erin suffered eye injury. “The ophthalmologist didn’t even seem to be aware of it,” said O’Neil, wrote

CooperVision Inc. officials issued its U.S recall on August 19 for what it said was “a limited number of lots” that totaled about 10% of the Avaira Toric lenses sold or issued as samples in 2010, said The company advised the FDA on August 25th and initiated the recall after it investigated what it said were a “small number of unexpected wearer reports of hazy vision and discomfort,” wrote

Phyllis Entis, author of the eFoodAlert blog, which tracks public safety recalls, said CooperVision’s activity “can only be described as a stealth recall,” said The blog includes reports from other injured CooperVision customers including Deirdre Shapiro, 43, of Villanova, Pennsylvania, who suffered blurry vision and a scratched cornea. It “felt like someone was in there with a sharp instrument stabbing my eye,” reported Shapiro stopped wearing the lenses when her doctor notified her of the recall, which was after she was wearing them for months, said “Literally, my whole summer, I thought I was going crazy,” she said. “I wish I’d known. I would never have put this thing near my eye.”

While a CooperVision website notice has been posted so that customers can input a lot number to determine if they are in possession of recalled lenses, CooperVision does not provide retailer information or a complete lot listing, said The very limited information can be accessed here.

This entry was posted in CooperVision Contact Lenses. Bookmark the permalink.

© 2005-2016 Parker Waichman LLP ®. All Rights Reserved.