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CDC and FDA says eye drops brand caused 3 deaths, dozens of infections and vision loss

Posted at 5:48 PM, Mar 27, 2023

SOUTHWEST FLA — Fox 4 is following up on a recall for a brand of eye drops called EzriCare Artificial Tears or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears. According to the CDC and FDA, these eye drops have caused 3 deaths, dozens of infections, and more than a handful of vision loss cases.

It was just 3 days ago that North Collier County said their Fire Captain has been affected by these eye drops.

North Collier County Fire Rescue District posted a message on their social media extending their condolences to the captain adding the negligence associated with the product has far-reaching consequences for their department and the residents and visitors within our community.

We took the concerns to a local optometrist to get you answers...

"We’ve had phone calls and our patients are not on those lubricants but they are calling asking about what’s on the news," says Dr. Jessica Cameron O. D. FAAO.

The FDA put out a warning to consumers and health care practitioners not to purchase and immediately stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears or Delsam Pharma’s Artificial Tears due to potential bacterial contamination back on February 2nd.

"You just don’t know any product on the shelf that you’re buying as a consumer — they could have a recall," says Dr. Cameron.

The FDA said using contaminated artificial tears increases the risk of eye infections which can lead to blindness or death.

Dr. Jessica Cameron O. D. FAAO explains, "They start off with an infection where they can lose vision but it can get to where it leaves a scar then it is permanent vision loss. The correction is removing the scar which is a cornea transplant and that’s a whole other gamut of problems for the rest of this person‘s life."

The North Collier County Fire Captain says he used the drops and started to feel irritation and saw redness that got worse to the point where he wasn't able to see. His story has made national news as he says he's been out of work for months recovering.

The FDA and CDC say signs of infections from the drops include eye pain and discomfort as well as eyelid redness, light sensitivity, and blurry vision.

"If it’s not getting better within 24 hours and you can’t sleep then you have an issue. Any decline in vision, redness, weeping of the eyes — but really if it’s not getting better with time I would go in [to an eye doctor] right away and get a checked your eyes are very very important," says Dr. Cameron.

The CDC says if you have these eye drops in your home - throw them out immediately.