NEW YORK - If you use eye drops, the FDA is warning against using 26 over-the-counter generic brands because they might contain bacteria that could cause infections, possibly leading to partial vision loss and even blindness.
"If there's a lot of bacteria or fungus or other microorganisms in the drops, then potentially after just using a few drops, you may start to have symptoms," said Robert Cykiert, an ophthalmologist with NYU Langone Medical Center.
The FDA is not saying where the manufacturing facility is located, but is notifying the public that inspectors found unsanitary conditions and bacteria, and they should immediately stop using the products.
The eye drops are sold under six brand names, including CVS, Rite Aid and Target. The stores are removing them from their shelves and websites.
"If you get a very severe bacterial organism, it could actually lead to blindness within 24 hours," said Dr. Daniel Laroche, an ophthalmologist with Mt. Sinai and NYU.
The recalled eye drops are mainly used to treat dry eyes and irritation. Dr. Cykiert said there are symptoms you should watch out for.
"The symptoms would be redness of the eyes, swelling of the eye, blurry vision," Dr. Cykiert said.
The FDA said, so far, there haven’t been any reports of injuries related to the recalled eye drops.
"Anything like that happens, you should go see medical attention right away," said Dr. Laroche.