Another two women have lost vision in at least one of their eyes and are suffering other painful symptoms like ulcers after using the bacteria-riddled eyedrops that have now been linked to three deaths around the world.
The drops – Artificial Tears by EzriCare – have been recalled and are now the subject of a CDC investigation.
So far, at least 68 cases around the US have been identified in which people who used them suffered vision loss and other symptoms.
Nancy Montz of Ohio spent three weeks in the hospital after suffering a corneal ulcer. She has now completely lost vision in her left eye
Renee told CNN that she now has severe and permanent corneal scarring which has resulted in vision loss, and that she can only partially see now using glasses that feel as though they’ve been dipped in oil
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says 68 people in 16 states were diagnosed with infections from the bacteria in EzriCare, which has caused three deaths and eight people losing their vision, and four people who had to have their eyeballs removed
Some have had to undergo surgery to remove their eyeballs and three people, who have not yet been identified, have died as a result of them.
Nancy Montz of Ohio and Renee Martray of South Carolina are the latest victims.
Both women have lost partial vision in at least one of their eyes.
Renee told CNN that she now has severe and permanent corneal scarring which has resulted in vision loss, and that she can only partially see now using glasses that feel as though they’ve been dipped in oil.
Nancy spent three weeks in the hospital after suffering a corneal ulcer.
She has now completely lost vision in her left eye.
Their stories are similar to those of Clara Oliva, 68, who is now registered as legally blind, and Adam Di Sarro, a fire captain from Florida.
Clara Oliva, 68, is now registered as legally blind. She had to have her eyeball removed and replaced with a plastic one
Oliva is now suing the pharmaceutical company that makes the drops
‘The redness came on, the irritation came on, a lot of itching, and it was abnormal.
‘It just progressively got worse, to the point where I couldn’t even see within a few hours,’ he told CBS in an interview sobbing.
Both have now launched legal proceedings against the drops’ manufacturer.
According to Oliva’s attorney, Natasha Cortes, she was using EzriCare Artificial Tears before developing the infection.
‘My client is horribly injured and now legally blind. I am currently investigating others similarly injured by this recalled product,’ Cortes stated.
According to the lawsuit, Oliva started using EzriCare Artificial Tears in May of last year.
Adam Di Sarro, pictured, broke down as he spoke of how his battle against the superbug Pseudomonas aeruginosa ‘just progressively got worse’
Di Sarro’s left eye, pictured, started to feel funny after using the eyedrops. He is now suing the company for the long-term damage and blindness it has caused him
Months later, her right eye became ‘red, swollen, and abnormally watery.’ She then developed a bacterial infection that caused a corneal ulcer and a deterioration of her vision.
‘Given the severity of the infection in Mrs. Oliva’s right eye, the exhaustion of treatment methods, and the risk of the infection spreading systematically creating a life-threatening condition, it was determined that an enucleation of Mrs. Oliva’s right eye was the best option to control the severe antibiotic-resistant infection,’ her lawsuit declares.
The CDC is urging patients who have used EzriCare or Delsam Pharma’s artificial tears and who have noticed symptoms of an eye infection to get medical care ‘immediately.’
Signs of an eye infection include yellow, green, or clear discharge from the eye; eye pain or discomfort; redness of the eye or eyelid; feeling of something in your eye; increased sensitivity to light; and blurry vision, the CDC reports.
As of March 14, a reported 68 patients in 16 states have been infected with this ‘rare strain’ of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)