AMO Lens Solution Canada should be Accountable

- by

Burns Lake, BCCanadian Shelly Holmes has gone through something right out of The Twilight Zone: microscopic parasites invaded her cornea. Her doctor said she got it from AMO Complete MoisturePlus Multi-Purpose Solution.

On May 30, 2007, Health Canada advised consumers who wear soft contact lenses about a recall (May 25) in the US: reports were coming in of an eye condition called acanthamoeba keratitis, caused by a parasite, and linked to AMO Complete MoisturePlus Multi-Purpose Solution. The recall wasn't soon enough for Shelly Holmes (not her real name).

AMO lens solution"In February I wound up in ER because it felt like I had a foreign object in my eye and it was really painful," says Holmes. "They just thought I was developing a stye but a few days later I was able to see my doctor and he advised me to see a specialist right away. I live in a small town so I had to drive two hours in a snowstorm to see an optometrist. But when I got there, he told me to see someone else and sent me to the town of Terrace—another two hour drive.

In Terrace I saw an ophthalmologist and as soon as he examined my eye he said 'I think I know what this is and you have to go to Vancouver right away'. The next morning, after two air flights, my husband and I arrived in Vancouver.

I got in to see the specialist immediately. He scraped my cornea for a culture to see if it grew and kept any amoeba. It had. I went back to see him the next morning and it was growing Acanthamoeba—a water-borne parasite. It wasn't pleasant to get a razorblade scrape across my eye—I was taking painkillers at this point.

I had no idea about these amoebas or parasites—it was really creepy. And that's only the beginning of my problems...

I took three different drops every hour to kill the parasites-- one drop an hour, every hour that I was awake. It was painful and really burnt. I managed to sleep but your body is under stress when fighting something like this. I felt awful.

So that went on for a few months. Then my cornea opened up and developed a bigger problem. The pressure in my eye went up and I went back to see the specialist in Vancouver. Then I had even more pressure problems—at one point they were going to remove my eye... I had to deal with a lot of stuff.

Then they tried steroids. I had developed a reaction to broline—one of the drops to kill the parasites. It finally got under control and I took mini-prednisone and a few other meds. And I was taking a pill for glaucoma and three other drops to keep the pressure down.

In June, my doctor decided the hole in my cornea was opened for so long that there was a possibility of a secondary infection. He decided to replace my cornea. And it gets worse! When I had the corneal transplant a cataract developed because of all the drops I had to use, and it was also due to the trauma to my eye. When I had the corneal transplant on June 13th, he also removed the cataract on my lens.

In the past few weeks I have regained my energy and started to heal. My doctor is pleased with the graft on my eye but I have limited vision. At some point I will have a lens put in. Meanwhile I just have to wait for the little stitches to be removed. After that, I don't know what will happen.

It has been really tough; I lived in dark rooms with dark glasses for a long time—I couldn't stand any light. And expensive. I have chalked up 16 return air flights to Vancouver, including two for my husband. Luckily I have family there so I stayed with my sister and family members were able to drive me back and forth to my doctor.

I am trying to remain positive; if you don't, you'll go down so far and get into a depression. I am optimistic that I will get my sight back one day and return to work.

My doctor said I got this infection from AMO. 'Where else did you get it from? You used the stuff, it's obvious,' he told me. I'm 56 years old and never had a problem with my eyes. One thing is for sure: I will never put contact lenses in my eyes again.

My doctor called my case 'severe'. AMO should be held responsible because this ordeal has cost a fortune."

Acanthamoeba keratitis is a rare infection that occurs almost exclusively in contact lens wearers. On the [EyeMDLink website], primary risk factors for this condition are "swimming in pools, lakes or sea water while wearing contact lenses, storing contact lenses in home made solutions, and poor contact lens hygiene."

AMO contact lens solution should be added to the list.

AMO Lens Solution Canada Legal Help

If you or a family member developed an eye infection or blindness in Canada after using AMO Complete MoisturePlus Multi-Purpose lens solution, please contact a lawyer involved in a possible [AMO Lens Solution Canada Lawsuit] who will review your case at no cost or obligation.

Add Your Comment on This Story

Please read our comment guidelines before posting.

Note: Your name will be published with your comment.

Your email will only be used if a response is needed.

Request Legal Help