ATLANTA - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning Americans not to buy or use dozens of common over-the-counter lubricating eye drops sold by retailers such as CVS Health, Rite Aid, Target Up & Up, and other stores.
The list of recalled drops on the agency's website, included 28 eye products as of Monday evening, sold by seven retailers or pharmacies.
Atlanta optometrist Dr. Reena Gupta of Ansley Eye Care says the recalled lubricating drops have likely already been pulled from store shelves.
"But if you have them in your house or in your drawers, I would definitely throw them away," Dr. Gupta says.
The recall comes after the FDA says investigators inspecting the manufacturing plant where the drops were produced found unsanitary conditions in the facility and bacterial contamination on equipment in critical production areas of the plant.
"There are some great brand names that have not been recalled that I recommend," Gupta says. "Blink, Refresh, Systane are all excellent options. And, again, look for preservative-free drops. Look for the ones in the test tubes and the little tubes that are healthier for you in the long term."
The FDA has not received reports of eye infection tied to the products, but Dr. Gupta says if you have any signs of infection after using the drops, see your eye doctor right away.
"If you've been using artificial tears over the counter, and you have any redness, irritation for and body sensation, any sensitivity to light, you should definitely come in and make sure that there's no active bacterial infection, like conjunctivitis is probably the most common that we see," she says.