Concern over eyedrops use grows after reported deaths and increased infections



Prevent eye infections from eyedrops use

Prevent eye infections from eyedrops use


In response to the recent recalls involving eyedrops, Dr. Daniel Laroche, a top New York City eye specialist, recommends the following tips to help prevent eye infections from eyedrops use:

Try to ensure the eyedrops are made by U.S. manufacturers. Here in the U.S., it is easier to ensure compliance with FDA manufacturing guidelines.

  1. Wash your hands before and after using eyedrops.

  2. Do not touch the dropper to your eye to avoid contaminating the tip.

  3. Close the eyedrop bottle tightly after each use.

  4. Do not use the same eyedrops for multiple people.

  5. Use the eyedrops within one month of opening.

  6. Store eyedrops away from heat, light and moisture.

Dr. LaRoche’s comments come after the FDA warned consumers and eyecare professionals not to purchase and to immediately stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears, citing violations in manufacturing practices, including lack of appropriate microbial testing, formulation concerns and lack of proper controls related to tamper-evident packaging.

EzriCare Artificial Tears and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears are manufactured by Global Pharma Healthcare Private Limited and are available over the counter.

The FDA also warned consumers and health care professionals not to purchase or use Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Eye Ointment due to potential bacterial contamination.

READ MORE: Busting eye health myths

Global Pharma initiated a voluntary recall at the consumer level of all unexpired lots of EzriCare Artificial Tears and Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears. The FDA also recommended a recall of Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Eye Ointment, and the company agreed to initiate a recall.

The FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local health departments are collaborating in an investigation into a multistate outbreak of a rare, drug-resistant strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. 

As of January 31, 2023, the CDC had identified 55 patients in 12 states with infections that have been linked by epidemiologic and laboratory evidence to use of EzriCare Artificial Tears. Adverse events included hospitalization, one death with a bloodstream infection and permanent vision loss from eye infections. As of March 27, the CDC had reported two additional deaths linked to the bacterial infection.

Anyone with symptoms of an eye infection should talk to their health care provider or seek medical attention immediately.

Dr. Laroche also reminds everyone that more than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma — a leading cause of irreversible blindness. The National Eye Institute projects this number will reach 4.2 million by 2030, a 58% increase. Glaucoma is called “the sneak thief of sight” since there are no symptoms, and once vision is lost, it’s permanent. As much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing. Moreover, among African American and Latino populations, glaucoma is more prevalent. Glaucoma is 6 to 8 times more common in African Americans than Caucasians.  

Dr. Laroche states that, “Early cataract surgery and microinvasive glaucoma surgery is the key to prevent blindness in most patients with glaucoma over the age of 50. The enlarging lens is the most identifiable cause of glaucoma. Now that cataract surgery today is much safer than 25 years ago, this technology combined with microinvasive glaucoma surgery is a new standard of care and great news for patients with glaucoma.”

Dr. Laroche recommends people have one eye at a time done to ensure they are happy with the results. “In patients with angle closure glaucoma, clear lens extraction can be performed and is more effective than laser iridotomy.”

Dr. Laroche is a glaucoma specialist who takes patient education seriously. He wants people to be aware that glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and retinopathy can begin to surface between the ages of 40 and 70, and that any vision changes should be evaluated by an eye doctor immediately.

“Over time, these diseases can lead to blindness, so it’s best to address them as soon as possible,” said Dr. Laroche. “We have new treatments with earlier surgical options that can help preserve (or restore) their vision with faster recovery times.”

A healthy diet with lots of salads, vegetables, drinking water, exercise and meditation can help reduce cataracts, diabetes and glaucoma, he said.

“Eyesight or human vision is one of the most important senses,” Dr. LaRoche added. “By protecting the eyes, people will reduce the chance of blindness and vision loss while also staying on top of any developing eye diseases, such as glaucoma and cataracts.”

Dr. Laroche is an exceptional board certified, Ivy League trained, glaucoma specialist in New York and a Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology. He studied and received his bachelor's degree from New York University and a medical doctorate with honors in research from Weil Cornell University Medical College. He underwent a medical internship at Montefiore Hospital and finished his ophthalmology residency at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he was the chief resident in his third year. He later completed his glaucoma fellowship at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. He is affiliated with Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York University and is president of Advanced Eyecare of New York. 

For more information about Dr. Laroche, please call (212) 663-0473, Manhattan office; (718) 217-0424, Queens Office; or visit: www.advancedeyecareny.com.



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