A man lost vision in one eye after using EzriCare Artificial Tears eye drops

A fire captain says he lost vision in one eye within hours of using over-the-counter eye drops linked to drug-resistant bacteria.

A man said he lost vision in one eye after using EzriCare Artificial Tears eye drops, which have been linked to drug-resistant bacterial eye infections.

Adam Di Sarro said he lost vision in one eye a few hours after using EzriCare artificial tears.

Di Sarro told CBS News he was out of work for five months after the accident.

EzriCare eye drops were withdrawn in February after they were linked to vision loss.

A Florida fire captain said he experienced vision loss in his left eye after using EzriCare artificial tears, which have been linked to a drug-resistant bacterial infection.

Adam Di Sarro of Naples told CBS News that he used artificial tears for years to treat dryness in his left eye but first encountered problems in the fall of 2022.

Di Sarro filed a product liability lawsuit against Ezricare LLC and Amazon (where he bought the drops), among other drug companies, in February. As of March 20, the case has been dismissed without prejudice, which means Di Sarro may be able to reconsider his claim. Representatives for EzriCare and Amazon, and attorneys for Di Sarro, have yet to respond to Insider's request for comment.

In the complaint filed in federal court in Florida on February 23 and reviewed by Di Sarro's attorneys, Di Sarro's attorneys said their client experienced "irritation, swelling, severe pain and discomfort of the eyes and skull, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and eventual blindness in his left eye." After using the drops purchased on Amazon.

"Redness appeared, irritation, it was very itchy, and it was just not normal," Di Sarro told CBS News. "It gradually got worse, to the point where I couldn't even see in a few hours."

In the complaint, Di Sarro's attorneys said their client was referred to the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, where eye specialists determined his condition was caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause infections in the blood, lungs, or wounds. It becomes more difficult to treat as it develops defense mechanisms against antibiotics. The complaint said that testing of eye drops Di Sarro used from Isrecare found that "the bottles were contaminated with an overgrowth" of bacteria.

Di Sarro underwent treatment at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in October in the form of experimental light therapy and hardening eye drops, which eventually cleared the infection in his left eye, according to the complaint.

However, Di Sarro "continues to suffer from left eye deformity, headache, dizziness, blindness in his left eye, and emotional distress," according to the complaint.

Di Sarro told CBS News that he has been out of work for "five months."

India-based manufacturer Global Pharma Healthcare recalled EzriCare Artificial Tears in February after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the drops could be contaminated with drug-resistant bacteria. The recommendation came after the CDC received reports of "permanent loss of vision" due to an eye infection and one death caused by an infection in the bloodstream.

At the time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 55 patients in 12 states had tested positive for a strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa not previously detected in the United States. Most patients have told the CDC that they have used EzriCare artificial tears. The CDC and the US Food and Drug Administration have also warned that people avoid Delsam Pharma's artificial tears, which were recalled in February.

In March, the CDC reported that three people died after a bacterial eye infection outbreak linked to withdrawn eye drops. As of March 14, the multi-state epidemic has affected 68 people in 16 states, with eight people having lost vision in one or both eyes, and four had their eyeballs surgically removed.

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