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EzriCare Eye Drops Lawsuit

Millions of people across the United States rely on eyedrops to treat a wide range of conditions from dry eyes to glaucoma. For many, eye drops are an essential part of maintaining eye health.

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EzriCare Artificial Tears and several other popular brands of eye drops were recently linked to contamination with the bacteria P. aeruginosa. This bacteria could cause eye infections and result in blindness or even death. This strain of bacteria is rare and known to be resistant to drugs, which means that it can be difficult to treat. Some patients have needed surgery to treat their eye infections.

Lawsuits are now being filed against the companies that manufactured the eye drops linked to P. aeruginosa, the plaintiffs claiming that the companies advertised the eye drops as being safe for use without having first checked to ensure that they were not contaminated.

If you or a loved one has used one of the recalled eye drop brands like EzriCare Artificial Tears and has suffered from an eye infection as a result, you may have a case against the manufacturer of the eye drops. Consult with a Farah & Farah attorney to determine whether you have a case. All consultations are free and you won’t have to pay a thing unless your case is successful.

What Are Eye Drops?

Eye drops are liquid drops that are designed to be applied directly to the surface of the eye. Some may be over-the-counter for the purpose of moisturizing dry eyes while other types of eye drops may be prescribed by a doctor to treat an infection or other eye condition.

What Are Eye Drops Made of?

Over-the-counter eye drops that are used as artificial tears may be made of just saline. Some of these products might also include a lubricant. Eye drops prescribed by an eye doctor typically contain medicine to treat a disease, infection, or other condition and might be made of substances such as:

  • Steroids
  • NSAIDs
  • Antibiotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Topical anesthetics
  • Antifungals
  • Sympathomimetics
  • Parasympathomimetics
  • Parasympatholytics
  • Prostaglandins
  • Beta receptor blockers

What Are Eye Drops Prescribed to Treat?

Eye Drops can treat a range of eye conditions from dry eyes or infections to pink eye or glaucoma.

Dry Eye

Dry eye is a condition that occurs when your eyes aren’t properly lubricated. This is usually because your tear ducts aren’t able to produce enough to keep your eyes moist. Sometimes, however, your tear ducts can produce plenty of liquid, but if it’s of poor quality, then it could still lead to dry eye. Eyes that aren’t lubricated enough could be itchy and painful or eventually become infected. Saline eye drops, often called artificial tears, are often recommended to treat dry eye.

Symptoms of Dry Eye

The symptoms of dry eye can include:

  • Scratchy feeling
  • Stinging feeling
  • Burning feeling
  • Photophobia (light sensitivity)
  • Stringy mucus in or near the eyes
  • Red eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye fatigue
  • Trouble driving at night
  • Watery eyes
  • Trouble wearing contact lenses
  • Feeling like there’s something in your eyes

Eye Infections

An eye infection can be caused by either bacteria or a virus. Antibiotic eye drops may be used to treat the infection if it’s caused by bacteria, but not if it’s caused by a virus. Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is one of the most commonly known types of eye infection.

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is a type of eye infection. It occurs when the conjunctiva, a membrane that lines both the eyeball and the eyelid, becomes inflamed. The eye appears red because the irritated and swollen blood vessels within the conjunctiva are more visible than usual. Conjunctivitis can be caused by either a bacterial or a viral infection. In infants, it could also be caused by a tear duct not being opened completely.

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

The symptoms of conjunctivitis may include:

  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • A gritty feeling
  • Photophobia (light sensitivity)
  • Tearing
  • A crust that forms during the night that could prevent your eye(s) from opening in the morning

These symptoms could appear in one or both eyes, depending on where the infection is.

What Type of Eye Drops Treat Conjunctivitis?

Typically, eye drops that are prescribed to treat conjunctivitis may include antibiotics, but only when the pink eye is caused by a bacterial infection.

Allergies

Some allergic reactions may cause the eyes to become inflamed or irritated. Pollen, for example, can cause an allergic reaction called allergic conjunctivitis. The symptoms are similar to pink eye caused by bacteria or a virus but would need to be treated differently. Eye drops can be medicated with antihistamines. This type of eye drop would typically be prescribed to treat allergies.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an umbrella term for several eye conditions, all of which damage the optic nerve within the eye. This nerve is what transmits data from your eye to the brain so that it can interpret what you’re seeing. Pressure within the eye can damage it and cause vision loss. Although glaucoma is typically the most common in those who are older (it’s the most common cause of blindness in people who are older than the age of 60), it can happen to anyone of any age. Because there are multiple types of glaucoma, the symptoms can vary depending on the type. Glaucoma types include:

  • Pigmentary Glaucoma. This type may cause blurred vision during exercise, seeing halos around lights, and gradual loss of peripheral vision.
  • Normal-Tension Glaucoma. This type may cause no symptoms in the early stages, but it can lead to blurred vision and loss of peripheral vision in later stages.
  • Open-Angle Glaucoma. This type also may cause no symptoms in the early stages, but over time can lead to blind spots in peripheral vision and trouble seeing even with central vision in later stages.
  • Acute Angle-Closure Glaucoma. This type has many potential symptoms, including eye redness, seeing halos around lights, seeing colored rings around lights, headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, and severe eye pain.
  • Glaucoma in Children. While glaucoma is more common in older adults, it’s possible for some people to develop glaucoma at younger ages, even in childhood. Children may experience cloudy or dull eyes, headaches, blurred vision, worsening nearsightedness, and tears that occur when they’re not crying.

Eye Drop Recalls

The FDA has recently recommended recalls for a number of different types of eye drop due to concerns over the sterility of the products. Cracks had been discovered in the caps used for the eye drop bottles, which compromised the seal that prevented bacteria, fungi, or other organisms from entering the bottle. In February of 2023, the CDC found evidence of the bacteria P. aeruginosa contaminating eye drops and causing serious eye infections that resulted in vision loss and even several deaths.

Why Did the FDA Warn Against Using Certain Eye Drops?

The FDA warned against the use of certain eye drops that were linked to contamination with the bacteria P. aeruginosa. The companies whose products were impacted voluntarily recalled the affected eye drops. The bacteria is rare but is also resistant to medications that could be used to treat the resultant eye infection.

Which Eye Drops Were Recalled Due to P. Aeruginosa?

The eye drop brands that were recalled because they were linked to the bacteria P. aeruginosa are:

  • EzriCare Artificial Tears
  • Pharmedica Purely Soothing 15% MSM Drops
  • Delsam Pharma Artificial Eye Ointment
  • Apotex Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution. 0.15%

Both the EzriCare Artificial Tears and the Purely Soothing 15% MSM Drops were sold over-the-counter while the Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution. 0.15% eye drops were prescribed to treat glaucoma.

Who Manufactures the Recalled Eye Drops?

The companies that manufactured the recalled eye drops include:

  • Global Pharma (Ezricare Artificial Tears)
  • Delsam Pharma (Delsam Pharma Artificial Eye Ointment)
  • Pharmedica (Purely Soothing 15% MSM Drops)
  • Apotex (Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution. 0.15%)

What Are the Risks of Using Contaminated Eye Drops?

Those who used eye drops that had been contaminated with P. aeruginosa could experience a serious eye infection in the corneas as a result that might lead to vision loss, being hospitalized, or even death. According to the CDC, there are a number of possible symptoms and conditions that could arise due to the bacteria in addition to the corneal infection, including:

  • Keratitis
  • Endophthalmitis
  • Respiratory infection
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Sepsis

What Is Keratitis?

Keratitis occurs when the cornea in the eye becomes inflamed. The cornea is the tissue at the front of the eye that is shaped like a dome and covers the iris and the pupil. Keratitis is often caused by an infection but doesn’t have to be. It could result from something like wearing contact lenses for too long. Symptoms of keratitis can include the following:

  • Redness in the eye
  • Excessive tears
  • Excessive discharge
  • Eye pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Reduced vision
  • Trouble opening your eyes due to irritation or pain
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Feeling like there’s something in your eye

What Is Endophthalmitis?

Endophthalmitis is an infection that can affect the fluid or tissues in the eye. It’s most commonly caused by fungi or bacteria infecting the eye and constitutes a medical emergency because it can cause blindness if not treated right away. The symptoms of endophthalmitis can include:

  • Eye pain
  • Redness
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Yellow pus
  • White pus
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Puffy eyelids
  • Decreased vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Vision loss

What Is Sepsis?

Sepsis is an improper bodily response to an infection. When sepsis occurs, the immune system functions that are supposed to be fighting the infection instead turn on your own body and negatively impact your organs’ ability to function properly. Sepsis can lead to septic shock, in which the blood pressure drops dramatically and damages the lungs, liver, kidneys, and other organs in the body. This can result in death if the damage is too severe. Symptoms of sepsis can include:

  • Shivering
  • Lightheadedness
  • Mental status changes
  • Fast breathing
  • Shallow breathing
  • Sweating that doesn’t appear to have a cause
  • Symptoms of a severe infection

Septic shock symptoms can include:

  • Inability to stand
  • Sleepiness
  • Difficulty staying awake
  • Extreme confusion or other severe changes in mental status

When Should I Seek Medical Attention?

If you or a loved one have the following symptoms after using one of the impacted eye drops, you should see a doctor straight away:

  • Eye pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye discomfort
  • Discharge from the eye that is:
    • Clear
    • Green
    • Yellow
  • A sensation like something is in your eye
  • Eye redness
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)

EzriCare Eye Drops Lawsuits

A woman living in Florida filed a lawsuit on Thursday, February 9, 2023, against both Walmart and Global Pharma, the manufacturer of the EzriCare eye drops that have now been recalled. She suffered an infection that she alleged was caused by the EzriCare Artificial Tears that she had purchased at Walmart. The EzriCare Artificial Tears brand was one of four impacted by an FDA warning and recall due to cracks in the caps that allowed the bacteria P. aeruginosa to contaminate the drops. According to her lawsuit, the plaintiff had purchased EzriCare Artificial Tears and used them in the weeks leading up to the development of her eye infection. Medical treatments weren’t effective at treating her infection, so the plaintiff, whose name is Teresa Phillips, had to undergo surgery and still experiences some symptoms even afterward. Although her lawsuit is among the first to be filed against Global Pharma, she’s not the only person who has suffered from an eye infection after the usage of contaminated eye drops. At least 68 others across the country have faced similar symptoms and of those, 12 have lost vision and several have died.

EzriCare Eye Drops Class Action Lawsuits

Another lawsuit, this one class action, was filed on February 7, 2023, by a man in Kentucky, who complained that Global Pharma, the manufacturer of the recalled EzriCare Artificial Tears, had advertised the eye drops as safe for consumers to use without testing the bottles thoroughly for possible bacterial contamination. Richard Mosely, the plaintiff, filed the lawsuit as a class action on behalf of all of those who were impacted by the eye drops.

Should I Consider an EzriCare Eye Drops Lawsuit?

If you used EzriCare Artificial Tears or one of the other brands of recalled eye drops and developed a serious eye infection, carbapenem-Resistant pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA), vision loss, or blindness, or if a loved one died as a result, you may have a case against the manufacturer of the product. The other affected eye drops include Pharmedica Purely Soothing 15% MSM Drops, Delsam Pharma Artificial Eye Ointment, and Apotex Brimonidine Tartrate Ophthalmic Solution. 0.15%. Speak with your doctor to determine that the eye drops were the cause of your infection and contact a lawyer to determine whether you may have a case.

The Farah and Farah team

Farah and Farah’s consultations are always free and if we take your case, you won’t have to pay a dime unless your lawsuit is successful. Contact us today to consult with one of our experienced, dedicated attorneys.

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