Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Heeding contact solution warnings
We covered a story this morning that provides an interesting look into the psychology of the average consumer. The story is about contact lens solution and the fact that a certain brand is linked to a devastating eye infection. The solution is called Complete MoisturePlus and is made by Advanced Medical Optics. The concern is that users of this solution have seven times the risk of getting the infection, caused by acanthamoeba, a parasite. Ick. This parasite is found in fresh water and salt water, and as it turns out, can even get into contact lens solution.
Admittedly, the numbers are very, very small. There were 39 cases of this infection (out of more than 30 million contact lens users in the United States) and 21 of those people used this solution. You literally have a 1 in a million chance of contracting the infection, which is slightly higher if you use this product. According to the CDC, improper storage, handling and disinfection of contact lenses, as well as swimming or showering while wearing contact lenses contribute to these kinds of infections.
If you do get the infection, you could go blind. In fact, nine of those 39 will require a corneal transplant with no guarantee of their vision returning.
So, what do you do? Obviously, the recommendation is to throw away the solution, the contact lenses and the carrying case. That costs money and aggravation. Do you think the average consumer goes through the steps to ensure that they aren't the one in a million or do they ignore the warnings - confident that it won't happen to them? What would you do?
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