Bausch & Lomb Please Make Lumify Eye Drops Without Benzalkonium Chloride

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People with dry eye syndrome and ocular surface disease often suffer from chronic red eyes, despite vigilant treatment. It can be very frustrating and pose a negative impact on quality of life. While eye drops that reduce redness are not a cure to any underlying ocular condition, their cosmetic benefits are, to many sufferers, a very important part of the treatment arsenal. 

In 2018, Bausch & Lomb released Lumify, the first redness reliever drop that does not cause rebound redness, a problem caused by drops such as Visine and Clear Eyes . Unfortunately, Bausch & Lomb decided to include Benzalkonium Chloride (BAK) as the preservative in Lumify. Numerous studies, doctors, and eye health experts indicate that BAK, even in low amounts, has toxic effects to the human cornea, can build up in ocular tissues, destabilize tear film, exacerbate eye dryness, and potentially cause cellular damage. In addition, many people are sensitive or allergic to BAK. The irony of Bausch & Lomb’s  decision is that the very people who would most like to be able to use Lumify and benefit from it are the VERY people who need to avoid BAK the most. 

For the reasons stated above, we ask that Bausch & Lomb support the dry eye community, which numbers in the millions in the United States alone, by making one of the following changes to the Lumify formula:

  1. Make Lumify available in a preservative free, single dose vial option.
  2. If preservative free is in no way possible, at least change the preservative in Lumify from detergent-based preservatives like BAK to a safer, “oxidizing” preservative such as Purite, GenAqua, OcuPure, or SofZia.

As of now, there is not one red eye relief drop available on the market that is suitable for many dry eye and allergy sufferers. By simply removing BAK, Bausch & Lomb could provide a needed eye drop for millions of people without the risk of further compromising tear film stability and corneal health.

A few helpful sources:

"The Use of Preservatives in Eye Drops" by Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE), School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Waterloo

"The Dangers of Lumify and It's Benefts" by Dr. Sandra Lora Cremers

"Red Alert: What You Should Know About Those Eye Drops" by Rebecca Petris at The Dry Eye Zone