Synsam withdraws lens solution after blindness fears

The biggest Swedish chain of optician stores said on Wednesday it had withdrawn a leading contact lens cleaning solution from sale after US authorities said it may be linked to a rare fungal infection that can lead to blindness.

Synsam pulled Bausch and Lomb’s ReNu MoistureLoc multi-purpose solution from all its 150 stores in Sweden on Tuesday.

“Until we can confirm the solution is safe, it will be withdrawn from our stores,” Gunnar Harbom, Synsam’s managing director, told AFP.

The company made the move after Bausch and Lomb stopped shipping the product to stores in the United States on Tuesday.

In a health bulletin, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it was investigating a rise in infections among wearers of soft contact lenses.

Bausch and Lomb had already stopped sales of its ReNu solutions in Hong Kong and Singapore.

The company said it had not stopped shipments of the solution to African, European or Middle Eastern markets as no cases of illness had been reported in these areas.

ReNu accounts for 25 percent of Synsam’s sales of contact lens solutions in Sweden, Harbom said.