Turning a blind eye from CIBA Vision

Update V: (3/6) I really appreciate how often people have stopped by to share experiences and stories with all of us. In light of CIBA Vision’s lack of communication, it’s good to have a place to converse about our problems and fill that void. I do want to caution everyone, though, about checking sources and verifying information before taking any advice shared on this site. I’m a communicator, not a medical person, and I can’t speak for any of the people who leave comments on this blog. Before taking any advice, check with a professional. The Internet is a great resource, but can be abused, use caution.

That said, I just want to point out a new story I read on CNN Today. Baush & Lomb is still having problems, as well. What the heck is going on with eye care products? For so many months we’ve been seeing this industry suffer unexplained accidents. Keep your eyes and ears open for news and continue to share it here. Peace. [end update]

Update IV: (6/2) We have product stocked in NE Ohio. Another reader left this comment, which I wanted to bring to attention.

Got their email today, May 31, 2006 @ 8AM PST (California)

Hi Bruce,

Thank you again for contacting CIBA Vision. This is the latest list of retailers to carry CLEAR CARE. Due to a manufacturing facility upgrade, it has put us in a backorder situation. The upgrade took longer than anticipated.

Albertsons, Bergen Brunswick, CVS, Drugs Store.com, Duane Reade Corp., Fred Meyer, H.E. Butt Grocery, Harmon Stores, Harris Teeter, Inc, HY Vee Food Stores, Imperial Distributors, Kinney Drug Companyu, K-Mart, Kroger,Marsh Supermarkets, Maxi Drugs,McKesson, Meijer, Inc, Progressive Distributors, Pulix Supermarkets, Raleys Supermarkets, Rite Aid, Roundy’s, Safewaty, Shopko, Sparten Stores, Supervalue, Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Wegmans, Weis Markets, and Winn Dixie. We started shipping March 22, 2006, to their distribution centers for allocation to their locations. Once it reaches their distribution center they tell us the turn around is 7 to 14 days to get it out to the stores. We are continually shipping to these centers and we hope that they can get it into the stores in a timely fashion. We do not have a schedule of the stores are distribution times as we do not deliver to the stores themselves, just to their warehouses. Softwear Saline will be available again in September.
Please ask your eye care professional what he or she would recommend in the interim.
Again thank you for contacting CIBA Vision.

Kind regards,
CIBA Vision Consultation

Update III: CIBA Vision in more trouble…

UPDATE II: A kind reader named Jessica just left a comment on this post and on this post which I will cut and paste for your information. It reads:

Hi Jessica,
Thank you for contacting CIBA Vision. We always appreciate hearing from our consumers’ with their concerns and comments. Due to a manufacturing upgrade our products are on backorder. AO Sept will be available the second week of April and Clear Care will be back on the shelves at Wal-Mart, Target, CVS and Walgreens the first week of April. Please ask you eye care professional what you can use in the interim.We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused. Again, thank you for contacting CIBA Vision.

Kind Regards Sherry Vanore Product Consultant

So at least now we know that CIBA Vision has actual people working there instead of CIBA Vision Consultation Specialists. I wish there were a way to express to CIBA Vision how mistreated we all felt, but they seem to have the market cornered on this type of product. I’m open to suggestions, an organization shouldn’t be able to treat customers this way and get away with it. Thanks, Jessica, now we know what we can expect.

Update: This post has generated a lot of interest. Apparently, I’m the only one spreading the word on the Internet about this situation. CIBA Vision ought to be paying me for covering their lousy communication. If you’re interested in information, be sure to check out the comments section as readers have posted quite a bit of information regarding this. Leave a note, tell me how outraged and irritated you are.

This may come as a shock to you, but as a public relations student, I feel it’s important for businesses to communicate with their publics. I know, it’s crazy, but that’s just how I feel – call me a rebel. So why is it that when a company has problems getting product to customers, they don’t feel it’s all that important to tell someone. Someone like me, a customer.

CIBA Vision is that contact lens and lens care manufacturer that makes, for one, Clear Care a lens cleaning solution. I use Clear Care, I like it. It makes my eyes feel moist and comfortable. But lately the stores in my area have had giant gaps on the shelves where my Clear Care should be. I first noticed in my town, but then scoured the area looking in any place that sells contact lens solution. No dice. “Why,” I thought, “why is there no product on the shelves?” Well surely the website will tell me. But in fact, that’s not the case.

I check the website on February 26 and saw nothing. No mention of any recalls, distribution problems, manufacturing problems. I even asked a pharmacist at a Target who said, “uh, I think it was recalled, I don’t know.” Then I searched online to see if I could find anything. I’m a graduate student, so I feel I had exhaustively researched the topic online. If there had been anything, I’m pretty sure I would have found mention of it. So I finally sent CIBA Vision a little note from their website contact page asking what the problem was, why I couldn’t find any information online about the problem, and why they weren’t communicating any of this information to their consumers. I live in Ohio, they are HQed in Georgia, I’m sure I’m not the only one having this problem. Here is the response:

Dear Luke,

Thank you for your e-mail. We would like to sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced in locating the Clear Care system. Clear Care has not been discontinued or recalled. Due to a manufacturing upgrade of our manufacturing site, supplies of Clear Care may be limited on retail shelves. We are working diligently to return to full production as quickly as possible, and anticipate increased supplies of Clear Care to be available in at store shelves in early April 2006. Until then, we would recommend contacting your eye care professional for their recommendation of the best solution for your lenses in the interim.

Again, we would like to greatly apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Thank you again for contacting CIBA Vision.

Kind regards,
CIBA Vision Consultation Services

Wow. Early April? It’s just now March. And who is “CIBA Vision Consultation Services” anyway? These people don’t have names? If you’re going to have this sort of problem getting product to consumers, wouldn’t you be more forthcoming in mentioning this? Are they afraid people will find another brand and never go back? But that’s what “CIBA Vision Consultation Services” told me, isn’t it, to find something else that would work until April? They answered my main questions pretty well, neglected to comment on why they never bothered to make this information readily available.
I guess I would have handled things differently.

By the way, I did manage to find two bottles of solution at a Target that looked like someone in the back room found them on the floor of the storeroom behind a door under a garbage can. A smart person must have noticed the shortage and said, “put them on the shelf, someone will buy it.” So, yes, I bought them. I’m like a junkie.

I’m interested in your thoughts. Should they have been more communicative? Don’t they trust their consumers with information? Maybe they could have sent out a notice before the “manufacturing upgrade”? Maybe this is how they do business. I don’t like it. Turning a blind eye on your publics is never what I would suggest. Anyone choose to offer an opinion? Maybe “CIBA Vision Consultation Services” monitors the Internet and will respond.

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253 Responses

  1. Luke,

    I could not agree with you more that CIBA dropped the ball in this situation. For me, two things jump out:

    1) As a loal customer, and potential brand evangelist, you are exactly the type of person that they should be reaching out to during a situation like this

    2) This is an example of how front-line employees often (intentionally or unintentionally) shape the public image of an organization. After all, am I going to develop an opinion of McDonald’s based on a commercial, or based on the service I get from an employee.

    CIBA Vision Consultation Services missed a real opportunity to try to develop relationships with its customer base.

    There is great post about customer support over at The Social Customer Manifesto that I would recommend: http://www.socialcustomer.com/2006/03/a_customer_supp.html

    Great blog. As someone less than one year removed from a grad school program in PR, it is nice to see other students talking about these issues.

    Cheers,
    Jeffrey

  2. Luke,
    I live the SF bay area and spent several hours today trying to find a bottle of Clear Care and was unsuccessful in finding a single bottle. The managers at Costco, Longs, Drug Barn and Walgreens were totally uninformed as to why their stores no longer carry this product. The only comment I got back from them is they don’t know why cannot order the product from their warehouses. I finally found a toll free Ciba Vision consumer relations number to call and the message was similar to the letter to you from Ciba.

    I think it is very irresponsible of Ciba Vision to interrupt supply of their product in this manner without warning. It represents poor supply chain planning and ‘shutting down for upgrade’ (message on their phone) seems like a lame excuse. They should have ensured that there was sufficient product in the pipeline and at a minimum provided some advice on where to get the product or what to use in the interim. The phone message simply said that product will be available in April. I think their consumer relations dept who handled this should be fired. I have been a loyal customer for many years since Clear Care was introduced and am now furious enough to switch to another brand and not return to using Clear Care even if they get the product back on the shelves. Considering the way the company is treating their customers, they deserve to lose all of them. My recommendation “Let’s boycott Ciba Vision’s products”. I also use their contact lenses and will also be switching brands the next time I refill my presciption.

  3. Luke:
    I did some more research and found the following interesting article regarding Ciba Vision’s Canadian Sterile Manufacturing facility and my carton of Clear Care states that it is made in Canada. Could the sudden shortage and poor communications from the company be connected with the contamination problem?

    Health Canada warns consumers not to use GenTeal Artificial Tears due to potential health risk
    (Posted November 15, 2005)

    Health Canada is warning consumers not to use Lot 51436 of the product Genteal Artificial Tears 25 ml due to possible contamination with bacteria. A recall of the affected lot has been initiated by the distributor, Novartis.

    Use of eye drops contaminated with bacteria may cause serious eye infection. People who are immune suppressed, such as those with HIV/AIDS, or who are undergoing chemotherapy or taking drugs which cause immune suppression may be at a higher risk for infection.

    The product, with an expiry date of 2008-08, is fabricated by CIBA Vision Canada Inc., Sterile Manufacturing.

    Lot numbers can usually be found on the top of the box or front panel of the bottle. The Drug Identification Number (DIN) for this product is 02231289. The DIN can be found on the front panel of the product label and outer packaging.

    This product is used to relieve eye irritation or dryness and is sold without a prescription as an over-the-counter drug. It is widely available and is distributed across Canada. According to the company, the product was tested prior to release for sale and met all specifications, including sterility. However, the company advised Health Canada that it is recalling the product as a precautionary measure based on a recent review of the production facility controls.

    Health Canada is advising consumers who use Genteal Artificial Tears to check the lot number on the bottle. If it is Lot 51436, with an expiry date of 2008-08, they should immediately stop using the product and return it where it was purchased. People using the affected lot who experience symptoms of eye infection such as redness, swelling, discharge, pain, itchiness, increased sensitivity to light and change in vision should seek medical attention.

    Health Canada will update this advisory as soon as additional information is available. Health Canada advisories are posted at the following web address: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/2005/index_e.html

  4. Hello Luke

    I am writing from Minnesota, where I have just spent a frustrating couple of hours trying to find Clear Care at Target, Walgreen’s,Wal-Mart, and CVS, and I even tried my luck at a grocery store. I’m beyond a “brand evangelist” (Jeffrey’s words, above) – I’m allergic to the preservatives in the other kinds of solutions, so I need to use a 3% peroxide solution like Clear Care. I went to the pharmacist counters at a few of these places to ask what was going on, and they didn’t know. Then went to the manufacturer’s web site to find out if the product had been discontinued. Nothing. Then I Googled “CIBA Vision Clear Care discontinued” and found your post. Now I know! You are right – people all over the country who need/want this product can’t find it, and even their pharmacists and suppliers are out of the communication loop. As they suggest, I’ll contact my eye care professional and see what I can do, and maybe I’ll find something to switch to.

    Best wishes with your graduate studies in PR – one of the things that you’ve got going for you is that you understand customer communications!

    Judy in MN

  5. Jeffrey, YC, Judy:
    Well, it’s good to know that I’m not the only one out there frustrated with the situation. It’s also good to see that I didn’t invent the problem in my head – it’s real and it’s really irritating some folks.
    I’m also glad that I could be of use to some people who are looking for relevant information. I’m sorry that CIBA Vision isn’t communicating, so I guess we have to. I’m glad that you all found what I had to write and have added your stories/information.
    YC, that Health Canada advisory is excellent. I know none of us are that close (with the exception of Judy in MN) to Canada, but it’s good to know that we can pass relevant, needed information around. Thanks for that info and the link.
    Judy, in your case, it would have been really important for CIBA Vision to keep you abreast of the situation – and they failed. Do what you can to find something to work for you in the interim. Good luck.
    Jeffrey, thanks for the shout out and the link.
    I understand that CIBA Vision may be having some problems in one fashion or another. That said, it’s not hard to communicate, it doesn’t take that much time. The return from effective communication completely outweighs the inconvenience for your organization. It sure beats losing portions of your customers, I think.
    Let see what happens.

  6. I found a recommendation from Dr. Kristin Heeney, an optometrist in Canada on a replacement product. The link is:

    http://heeney.ca/news/42/clear-care-and-aosept-temporarily-unavailable

    For your convenience, I have also pasted her recommendations here:
    I often recommend Clear Care contact lens solution for many of my patients. It is especially great for individuals who have sensitivities to other solutions. Unfortunately, Ciba Vision Canada which produces several eye care solutions including Clear Care and Aosept had a manufacturing problem which temporarily stopped the production. Supplies of Clear Care in stores have run out in the last few weeks frustrating many patients and causing confusion.

    If you do not have a history of solution sensitivity you may try one of the several multipurpose solutions available. There is another “peroxide-based” contact solution for sensitive eyes called UltraCare. Instructions for using UltraCare are:

    Place lenses in case filled with Ultracare Disinfectant and Ultracare Neutralizing Tablets.
    Soak for a minimum 2 hours or overnight, the solution turns pink when it is neutralized. No rinse necessary before insertion although I suggest rinsing with saline if your eyes are really sensitive.
    This week, CIBA Vision Canada Inc. confirmed that production has resumed of lens care products at its sterile manufacturing facility in Ontario, Canada. CIBA Vision is building up its supply chain and over the next few months, will gradually re-introduce its most popular lens care products and sizes as a first priority. It may take several months to fully re-stock all distribution channels, however, the company expects to have an increasing supply of its most popular products beginning April 2006. Clear Care is expected at this time. AQuify® Drops and other products will become available commencing in the third quarter, 2006.
    p. I know many patients are anxiously awaiting the return of these products. If you have any questions or concerns in the mean time please do not hesitate to ask me

  7. Dear Luke,

    I found your article extremely timely. I experienced something very similar with another Ciba Vision product–their daily cleaner, Miraflow. I, too, looked at numerous drugstores in the Bay Area and spent several hours scouring websites to try to find the product, with no success. I also sent them an email on March 1 and received a reply very similar to yours. I have used this product for many years and find Ciba Vision’s lack of communication about this shortage and their inability to resolve the current shortage in a timely fashion unacceptable.

    But what I find even more upsetting about the entire situation is that several different Ciba Vision products are available on eBay, if you are willing to pay the price. Prior to this shortage, I could normally purchase a bottle of Miraflow (20 mL) for around $6.00. Now, a single bottle is selling for as much as $30–an increase of 400%!! If Ciba Vision knew how much people were willing to pay to remain loyal to their brand, would they be so irresponsible in both trying to meet product demand and notifying their customers of the current situation?

    Thanks very much for your article, and I hope someone at Ciba Vision sees your article and subsequent comments. Or maybe they’re the ones selling their own products at ridiculous prices on eBay!

  8. I have experience the shortage here in the Dallas area…really annoying.

    On a lark, I searched eBay for “clear care” and found packages of the 2-pack 8 oz. bottles which normally sell at Walmart for under $10 selling for $35 – $40. Crazy.

  9. Thanks so much for the information! I have been looking for a week for a bottle of Clear Care only to come up empty. I called my eye doc today, and they were pretty clueless themselves, but I scored a couple of free bottles from them, samples they had left! I am not loyal to a brand and if I find another similar solution not made by Ciba, I WILL be switching. It\’s insane to leave your customers hanging and searching vainly for your product. If I had know in advance, I could have bought a couple extra bottles. How simple is that?

    Thanks again,

    Kim in Oregon

  10. Kim,
    Maybe that was their fear, that people would buy everything up like crazed Christmas shoppers looking for that Red Power Ranger. Still, no excuse for them to keep people in the dark about this for so long. Still no word and I\’ve been providing the sole explanation on the web from them. Something else is going on here, they\’re not telling us something. What are they afraid of?

  11. Early April! Early April. April!

    Good grief. Thanks for letting us all know. Can’t find anything in Pittsburgh and I’ve been looking for weeks. Never mind chocolate bunnies, this Easter I hope to be able to *see* again.

    The idea to try to get Clear Care samples from eye doctors is inspired. I’ll give that a shot. All hail the interweb.

  12. I was looking for Clear Care everywhere in Rhode Island, I got lucky this weekend and scored 4 12oz bottles at the Navy Base. At an incredible $7.00 each!

    I also checked Ebay as well. There are conflicting dates, some are saying early April and others are saying 6 months.

    Thanks for your article,

    Judy

  13. Someone sent Ciba Vision Corporate Headquarters (a.k.a. Novartis) this nice letter:

    RE: AO Lens Care System “shortage”

    I have been using your products for the past 25 years….YES 25 YEARS!!! But that business “relationship” is about to end soon!

    I have always used your entire AO system product line (sept solution, drops, cleaner, disk, case, etc…) for lens care! I do not have to, since it is the most expensive system on the market but an ophthalmologist had recommended it way back then and I always stuck with it!

    But now, for the past three weeks I cannot find any AOSept solution ANYWHERE, in three adjacent cities (Ottawa, Gatineau, Hull)!!! I have been to every pharmacy I know, every supermarket, every Wal-Mart and so on, for the past few weeks and could not find ONE SINGLE BOTTLE!!!! No one I approached (managements, etc.) knows anything about the abrupt “shortage”!!! This has caused me a great deal of anxiety (running around, etc.) and concern (what do I do every night) because you are the only ones on the market still using a peroxide based sterile solution, since all the rest sell the infection prone all-in-one solutions!

    Now, after phoning the US, I find out (recorded message) that the essential product “will only be available sometime in April”!!! Your “management” should have had enough intelligence and business savvy to plan for an overlap of product usage instead of leaving your long term clients out in the cold and I find this extremely disconcerting, to say the least! There are at least a dozen ways you could have made your manufacturing “changes” completely transparent to your client, without affecting us negatively, this way!!! How many overpaid MBAs do you have sitting on the board of directors???

    I attempted to contact your Canadian division but they don’t take e-mails, nor do they answer the telephone (only useless automated menu); and here I thought “Ciba is a very big, important corporation” all along! The subliminal message: “Purchase our products for 25 years but please do not bother us, even when we screw up”!!!

    Pretty darn pathetic if you ask me!

    I have had quite enough of this sheer stupidity, client disrespect and outright mismanagement!!!

    Ciba Vision has let me down pretty hard this time and left me with no other alternative but to change product line (competitor) and once I do that, it is pretty much irreversible!!

  14. I was doing a little web research, and yours is the only info I could find. Thanks. Looks like a bunch of us are in the same boat and still haven’t found a paddle.

    For the last several weeks, I have casually looked for AOSept. Any time I was in the store (WalMart, Walgreens, Albertsons…..) because I still had some. Ya know, no worry. The panic is now starting to set in. The stores have even started to remove the tags where the product usually sets. I asked all the pharmacists on duty. All but one had a look on their faces like they didn’t know the stuff existed, let alone that they were out. I finally found one at WalMart who seemed to have a clue. He told me that there was an issue, possibily contamination, with ClearCare and that its users were buying up all the AOSept. He also indicated that stock of AOSept might be out until early May.

    May, what the $%*# am I going to do until then? Looks like I’m forced to use one of the one-step solutions for a while. You would think that they would realize that there must be a reason why we use this stuff even though it costs more…… it works. Because of this loyalty and sacrafice on our part, I beleive that they could at least inform us as to what is going on. It only stands to reason that it would be good business to do so.

    Hope it all works out soon.

  15. Same problems here in Wisconsin…no clear care to be found anywhere. A clerk at the vision center in a local wal-mart gave me a sample kit of UltraCare (also hard to find right now). I have to say, in light of the clear care flub, I think I may just switch to UltraCare. My eyes feel a lot better than they ever have with clear care.

    Bad PR = brand switch! 🙂

    jimmyd

  16. […] Graduate Observataions of Public Relations: Turning a blind eye from CIBA Many companies just choose to ignore the public, or hope that their message is enough to keep customers quiet – or not to complain too much. With blogs, issues that would just be grumbles can be louder than ever before – especially when the company just does not seem to get it. In today’s category? CIBA is running into that problem because its products are no longer on the shelves at stores because of “upgrades” – whether this is true or not, shouldn’t this be a no brainer as a message on its Website? You would hope so…. […]

  17. It was hard to imagine that your blog is really the only real information about Clear Care in the entire online world. Thanks for creating this. I agree with everybody else about our frustration with CibaVision. Not to seem conspiratorial, but there must be a lot more to this, for a company to suddenly shut down production of this solution that has such a loyal following around the world. One further comment: I live in a large southwest city and my pharmacist indicates that he thnks that CibaVision has concocted this manufacturing and distribution shortage intentionally. He states that it is rumored that CibaVision is touting its new Quick Care 5 Minute System. This new product is cheaper to produce and the company won’t have to hassle with the disks anymore, which are needed to neutralize the hydrogen peroxide in Clear Care. If this is true, as you have indicated, it is a “perfect storm” PR nightmare. If a representative from CibaVision looks at these messages (and surely the company is keeping tabs here) your customers would appreciate it if you let us know your intentions.

  18. Ron,
    I agree totally with you. Something else is going on here. If indeed it is an intentional strategic plan, then it’s failing for two reasons: 1) it’s stupid and it’s pissing people off so much that 2) consumers are switching to other brands for help. If they were gambling on the fact that eye care professionals were going to suggest the new Quick Care 5 minute system, then they should have been more forthcoming in presenting that solution – as no one I know has ever heard of it. I don’t think that’s it, personally, or else they’re more misguided than I thought. If that were the plan it would (should) have been organized better.
    I think something else went wrong. Something inside that they’re trying to cover up. I hope it bites them in the rear for not being more open or even attempting to communicate.
    By the way, I don’t think they ARE keeping tabs on what’s being said. I think that’s part of their mistake(s).
    Thanks for writing, good luck with your eye care.

  19. Thank you for creating this site. I have been searching at pharmacies and at Costco here in Windsor, Ontario for Clear Care to no avail. I asked the pharmacy staff to check and they said that it was discontinued (which she took to mean that the pharmacy is not stocking it anymore). Thanks to this site I have a clearer picture of what’s going on. I have gone back to Bausch and Lomb solution and will have to decide whether to switch back if Clear Care is in fact restocked in April. I’m not impressed!

  20. Just wanted to pass along some information from my eye doctor. Evidently, there was a contamination issue which forced Ciba to pull these products. Subsequently, not sure if directly related or not, CIBA’s CEO resigned, he was only CEO for a couple of years, Joe Mallof. A new CEO was named in February, Michael Keogh formerly with Proctor and Gamble. I am with everyone that is wanting to change manufacturers. Please update the blog if you have any more suggestions for alternative products. CIBA will only send out 2 small trial size bottles (which only last 5-6 days) and that is supposed to hold everyone over until the products are back on the shelves??? Really poor PR and customer service, enough to make me not want to use them any more and I have used CIBA products for 5-7 years.

  21. Same problems in Virginia, no CIBA products to be found except for the AOSept cups and discs. Lot of good that does when you can’t find any solution to put in it.
    Anyone found a good replacement yet?
    Honestly, when I do, I’ll never go back to Ciba

  22. I’m experiencing the same problem here in Connecticut. I went to my eye doctor at Lenscrafters and he gave me samples of Replenish and Complete. Complete was horrible, Replenish is giving me problems so I have to toss my contacts every week instead of every two. Today there was a notice on the shelf at CVS stating that Ciba is upgrading their manufacturing plant and can’t keep up with the demand for the product. I did score 2 small travel sized bottles of Clear Care, but I’m saving them for a cruise I’m taking in mid-april. Did you see on Ebay that some bids for 12 oz bottles have reached 35 dollars?

  23. Wow – same problem here in Seattle, Washington! I’ve been looking all over the place and finally resorted to the internet to find out the scoop as the pharmacists in my area seem to be absolutely clueless about even what the product is!! Thank you for posting this – let’s just hope the supply flow starts in April – I’m skeptical….

    Contact-less in Seattle, Maggie Beeson

  24. Well finally an answer!

    Like a junkie, I have been to every store here in Cincinnati, Ohio and not one bottle! I even have store clerks in Dayton Ohio checking out their inventory and getting back with me. I can’t take it! I finally decided to call my eye doctor to see what the hell was going on. They told me that there was an issue with sterilization (as noted in the aforementioned posts) and that it could be another 3 months. He told me to try Complete Moisture. I have been using it for 1 week now and I am dying. My eyes are drying quickly.
    I decided to go on the internet to see if I could find out the scoop, and this was the only resourceful site – Thanks!

    I am very upset with the way Ciba Vision has handled this situation. If Complete Moisture works out then I think I will just stick with it.

  25. These same issues are ocurring in Ontario too. I’ve been searching and searching for ClearCare solution and have not been able to find any. I finally spoke to a pharmacist who phone CIBA Vision to find out what the issue was. They told her there was a problem with sterilization (as mentioned above) and that product would be back on the shelf in early April. A few days later I was at another pharmacy where they had posted a sign saying that they would not be getting restocked until July….July??? What am I supposed to do until July? I have used all the various CIBA Vision solutions over the years – AOSept, In a Wink, and now ClearCare. I use them because they work for me. The only time I have changed solutions was when the In a Wink product was discontinued. My optometrist recommended Ultra Care. It was okay for a while, but then it got to the point that my eyes burned like bonfires every morning when I put in my lenses. I had to stop using the product and switched to ClearCare.

    Without ClearCare, there is nothing else on the market that I can use. My job as a physical education teacher and coach puts me in the line of fire for various balls and birdies – glasses are not an option – especially mine which have a VERY high prescription.

    It definitely would have been prudent for the company to warn it’s customers and/or vendors of the situation if it was at all possible. Barring that, some kind of notification after the situation would at least have saved their customers from endless searching for a product that is no longer available. I checked their website and there is still no word of the problem. At this point, don’t they have a responsibility to say something? anything? Aren’t they just making the situation worse by not? How do they expect to have any customers left after this? Other than those of us who really have no other choice, I have no idea why anyone would continue to purchase their products.

    Thanks for this sharing of information. I wish everyone luck in their pursuit of clear vision!

    anne

  26. I found another on-line forum where disgruntled consumers of Ciba Vision’s products are gathering:

    http://www.visioncareforums.com/showsubject.asp?MessageID=7326&siteid=om

    Aosept is available for sale on americarx.com – 8oz for $8.99.
    Most optometrists (including the ones at Costco) also have a supply of the free trial sizes of Clear Care.

  27. Well I logged into FDA.GOV to see if there were any inspections or audit notices of the ciba facilities and didn’t see any. If they shut down due to an internally noticed problem they shouldn’t take that long to get up and running…but if it was the FDA that asked them to stop production it could be a while. OH….I think that since this is considered a streile product/drug (maybe) the fda can audit them even though they are in another country. Other countries agencies are allowed to enter the US and inspect facilities within the states.

    Good luck folks, try to keep your chin up with your glasses on as I was until I score two packs of ultra care at my local grocery store of all places! Funny thing about the ultra care is its the same % H202 as the AOsept/Clear care…so you should feel free to use it with the disks and not the stupid pills they give you with the ultracare crap.

  28. BTW here is a nice article with some more answers:

    http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-lens14.html

    Enjoy!

  29. OH, I am calling Jim Cramer on Mad Money with this one…ponder this…So who is the only other company selling H202 systems which we resorted to AMO! They are listed on the NYSE as EYE….go ahead and buy some stock…you can see they got poo-poo’d for a crappy 4th quarter 05…well guess what..I bet they have a freggin great quarter now due to CIBA’s screw up…

    come on people make some money back and buy some competitor stock and cash in on all the new customers AMO probably jsut made…hell for 12 dollars you get a case, solution and the disinfecting tabs…a lot better than 8 buxks for a lousy 12oz bottle of AOCRAP!

    BOO YA!

  30. Read most of the comments and like everyone else Ciba Vision Products are also not available here in New Brunswick Canada….When I first when looking the pharmacist at Shoppers Drug Mart told me that is was discontinued…so on I went at Walmart, SuperValue, and anywhere else I could think that would sell Ciba Vision contact lense solution…I couldn’t believe it there was none to be found….unlike most of your readers (looking for Clear care) my problem was getting my hands on Aosept by Ciba Vision…I called my eye specialist who was not aware that the product was not available but he did recommend another brand until he could find out more…like many of your readers I decided to search the Ciba Vision site to see if I could find out anything but all I found was no mention of anything….through persistence I found your site and appreciate at least some sort of explaination although this does not help me find the solution that best works for me…It leaves one with the impression that Ciba Vision has something to hide…

  31. Aosept and Clear Care are still available on http://www.duane-reade.com.

  32. I live in the Washington, D.C. metro area and ran into the same problem in early March. After running around to 5 different stores, I tried to purchase AOSept online. Everyone was out! I thought that, surely, Ciba, would have a message on their website. When there was nothing, I was shocked.

    I wrote to them and received a poorly typed message back. It had typos and didn’t really make much sense. What a PR nightmare. I’m sure that many people have already made the switch to something else.

    In the meantime, I’ve stocked up by purchasing five bottles from e-Bay. Despite CIBA saying that shelves will be re-stocked in April, they haven’t proven themselves to be terribly trustworthy.

  33. I was visiting New York City this week and decided to check supplies in the Duane Reade drug stores. No Clear Care or Aosept but I have found an alternative to Clear Care! Duane Reade carries a store brand called Clear Hydrogen Peroxide No Rub Solution and the label indicates that it contains Sterile 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, 0.00025% Poloxamer, stabilized wth phosphonic acide and buffered with phosphates. I think Poloxamer is similar to Pluronic in Ciba’s Clear Care – both are cleaning agents. It comes with a platinum neutralizer disc, almost identical to Aosept and Clear Care. Instructions for use are also identical. The Duane Reade product is manufactured in the U.K and price is only $6.99 for 12oz – quite a savings compared to $8-9 for a 8oz of Clear Care even if I have to pay shipping charges. I am stocking up before leaving NYC and may never go back to Clear Care if I can purchase this product on-line. After the way Ciba has treated their customers, they no longer deserve my business.

  34. I finally found some information about my lens care products with this site. Thank you all so much! I thought something was up when every single retail establishment had no AOSEPT-which I’ve been using for almost 30 years. I, too, have a sensitivity to regular contact solutions and CIBA vision products have worked for me. I tried Walmart, KMart, Rite-Aid, Eckerd Drugs, CVS, the local family-owned pharmacy and supermarkets . I hadn’t heard nor read of any shortages or recalls of the products. I agree that this is a very poor example of keeping customers abreast of any manufacturing problems that the company may be experiencing. I’m truly at a loss as to which product I can use in the interim (if it is just an “interim”). I guess I’ll contact my eyedoctor for recommendations. Again, thank you all for your comments. At least now I know that there is indeed a problem and I can switch to something else, rather than wait for a month for shelves to be restocked.

  35. I live in central PA and noticed a shortage of AOSEPT beginning in December. I couldn’t find it anywhere and when I did finally find a few bottles I stocked up. Just this week I went to my eye doctor and they gave me some Ultra Care to use in leiu of AOPSEPT or Clear Care. I like the Ultra Care better but it is also out of stock in all of the local retail stores. My eye doctor told me that a small company that sells a peroxide based disinfectant is setting up an agreement to sell their product to the public through doctor’s offices only; not through retail distribution. They should have this brand’s product available in about a month. In the meantime, there are no CIBA products or AMO UltraCare products available anywhere. My doctor advised me to step up the enzymatic cleaner to three times a week and continue cleaning with a multi purpose solution. Like everyone else, I too had been using CIBA products for many years and I am disappointed in their lack of communication and respect for thier customers. Once it is available, I will only use AMO’s UltraCare and I will never again use a CIBA product.

  36. Try your local optometetrist for samples having the same problem in georgia and that was my recourse.

  37. None here in New York either. I’d done some running from store to store too wondering what was going on. All these yrs. wasn’t even really sure I needed the stuff but after trying 2 other types of solution my eyes feel pretty uncomfortable and downright annoying late in the day. Hope they bring it back or I’ll just try and try until I find something suitable.

  38. Thank you! I was using Aosept, but when that disappeared from store shelves I found Clear Care. Then that begam to disappear too. The last time I found it I bought everything the store had…three bottles. I have one left. I, like others, have allergic reactions to other solutions. I was wondering what was going on. Thanks for the information.

  39. My wife had been trying to find Aosept or Clear Care for me for a couple of weeks and I sadly used my last few drops of Clear Care last night. While searching again today she asked a pharmacist and was told that there was some manufacturing problem like everyone has been talking about. I found this site tonight and with confirmed information about the shortage and possible substitutes such as AMO UltraCare I set out on a desparate search. I stood in front of the eye care section of my local Walgreens for probably 15 minutes trying to decide what crappy product I was going to choose as a Clear Care replacement and upon stepping back and looking up in disgust I saw several boxes on top of the display case near the back. I reached up and to my surprise pulled down three packages of UltraCare! I was giddy as I walked to the checkout counter. If you have Walgreens in your area you may want to look there for UltraCare, and leave no stone unturned when you do!

    Paul

  40. Thank you so much for your nice site-it is good to get some information. I too have been on the mad hunt for Clear Care and have been emailing Ciba trying to get information. I can’t believe they couldn’t come up with a better lie than “manufacturing upgrades” which is what they told me. I don’t see what the big deal is about being honest with your customers. They made this whole situation far worse by being so secretive–it makes me as a customer much less likely to trust them or use their products than if they had just put a statement on their site so I knew what was going on from the beginning. I am doubly screwed because I am one of only a few people who still need saline and their saline (one of the few still on the market) is also gone.

  41. I just found Clear Care at http://www.cvs.com for $8.99.

  42. i too here in california have had a hard time finfing regular Aosept. i had to go online and look for forums to see if any body else had the same problem finding the stuff.
    i went to my eye doctor and had to buy a huge starter kit that includes two big bottles of Aosept.
    they told me at the office that Clear Care and Aosept were going to be discontinued, but uh, they where not absolutly sure.
    wow its crazy.
    goog luck to every one who need the stuff..ration what you have..like goverment cheese…

  43. Wow, at least I’m really not alone. It’s been the same here in the Pacific Northwest. Has anyone simply tried plain ole H2O2? It is available at 3% which in the same as the Clear Care. The only difference is CC has a cleaner and saline added. I did some shopping today and have found that the disk and container are not around now also. Could this shortage be due to Katrina? If so, why could’t they be forthcoming. A little up front PR sure would have gone miles to keep customers.

    Thanks Luke for this forum

  44. Gee, my eye doctor told me some two months that there was a fire at their Canadian plant and said there would be a shortage of their products. Luckily, I am switching from their Quick Care to Clear Care so I am not locked into one or other now. And since I liked Quick Care, I always have a 4-6 month supply of the stuff. But it’s being discontinued 😦 I’ll run out in June/July and am patiently waiting for the Clear Care stock to return. I did NOT expect to see nothing from them on the shelf. The only thing I saw were the disks and containers at a Target in Nashua, NH. Without the solution, those things are worthless and vice versa. Thanks for the all info. I’ve not been able to read all the comments yet.

    Thanks Luke for putting this issue out in the open since Ciba Vision’s website was useless on this matter. Wish others would make a similar product without preservatives. I’ll have to consult with my doctor about this. Maybe he’ll have a solution (pun intended) 😛

  45. I really appreciate all of the information and especially the funny, yet truthful blog. I’m out of ClearCare and casually went to Wal-Mart twice only to find that ClearCare does not replace its stock very promptly and now I know why. Thanks for all of the help and now I will buy UltraCare and CONTINUE buying it instead of ClearCare. Maybe our choices to switch brands will cause CIBA to learn their lesson on poor communication.
    Thanks!

  46. Found this info while Googling today. Saturday is the start of April, so I guess just have to wait and see what happens.

    Precautionary shutdown

    A temporary shutdown late last year at CIBA Vision’s sole lens-care production plant in Canada has seen many stores’ stockpiles of AOSEPT and similar CIBA products run dry.

    “At the end of 2005, we discovered a nonsterile lubricant had been used in the manufacturing machinery,” said Laurie Sillay Lahr, spokeswoman for Atlanta-based CIBA Vision, a subsidiary of Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG. “We elected as a precautionary measure to immediately stop production.”

    Sillay Lahr said no faulty products made it onto store shelves, and CIBA Vision is “really sorry for any inconvenience customers are experiencing.”

    The plant was brought back up and running earlier this year. And the solution, so to speak, is in sight. CIBA Vision last week began shipping two of its most popular products, AOSEPT and Clear Care, which are hydrogen-peroxide solutions used to disinfect and to store both soft and hard lenses.

    In stores next month

    Distributing to individual retailers can take some time, but Sillay Lahr said consumers should start “to see these products increasing in supply in early April.”

    Shipments of AQuify multipurpose solution for soft lenses are scheduled to start in May, with other CIBA products to follow.

  47. Glad I googled and found this list of posts.
    Am in the Seattle area and have been wondering for 2 months about why every time I go to a drugstore there is no Aosept. It suggests they have no regard for the customer and his/her time or concerns.
    Add my name to the list of folks who would never buy a CibaVision product again if there is a viable alternative.

  48. Thanks for the information. Rhonda has the best suggestion, go to http://www.cvs.com for Clear Care.

    I called the Duluth, GA office about a month ago, 770-476-3937, the customer service representative was very polite though vague about why I couldn’t find ANY Ciba Vision product at any store in Denver. She was nice enough to send me 4 trial boxes of Clear Care. I’m just about out and I wonder if early April is really an accurate delivery date.

    I agree with everyone that the company needed to communicate this maufacturing disruption!!! Hope the company execs see this blog and realize that many of us are NOT brand loyal!!

  49. I am so glad that I found this site! I think it is disgustingly irresponsible for CIBA VISION to leave its customers in the dark. I was amazed that my eye doctor’s office didn’t even know what was going on. Ridiculous! My contact lenses are even CIBA brand. I have even started considering getting laser surgery, although I am pretty scared to do that. I think I may try UltraCare, if I can find it!!! I would rather not do business with a company that treats its customers like dirt.

  50. I echo everyone’s sentiments and disgust. I just called customer service at CIBA and the recording claims that “shipments to major retailers such as Wal-mart, Target…have begun.” Let’s all hope this is true, and that the frustrated retailers have not decided to de-list this product due to CIBA’s poor planning, or just for spite. If there was an alternative product, I’d be all over it. Thanks for the great information.

  51. Perhaps in a situation like this, you should ask your ophthamologist what to do, no? We are bombarded these days with this advice anyway : “Ask your doctor”.
    Seriously, you could use hydrogen peroxide, which is the base of AoSept solution in any event. This should pretty much tear up any bacteria or other organisms that might be present on your lenses. It is true that there are other ingredients in Aosept that buffer and may prevent the lens material from deteriorating as quickly, but when this nice, wonderful product is not available, you need to keep your lenses disinfected nonetheless. H2O2 is also quite affordable, and some care in handling it should keep it clean enough for this use (after all this is not for an operating room). What do you think?

  52. Dear Luke,

    this is a worldwide problem. I was searching for my
    Solocare hard solution and it absolutely disappeard
    from the shelves, like all other solutions from Ciba.
    The optician told me, that Ciba indeed had
    some problems with contaminated solutions and that
    it will take a longer time, especially here in a small country in Europe till the will deliver again. Thank you
    for your article and information. Good luck for all of you finding a new suitable solution.

  53. Wow, so glad to see there are others like me. I couldnt find it at Walmart 2 weeks ago, and then 3 days later my search at Kroger was fruitles and then my final return to Walmart had me scared when it still wasn’t showing up. They even removed the sticker tags on the bottom shelf where they normallly keep it.
    I am glad it will be coming back, it is the only product I have found that pretty much keeps my eyes moist and clean. Even though it costs more than all the other products out there, its worth the extra 2 bucks a month for comfortable lenses. I have recommended to others who have sensitivities.

    I bought some Opti Free Express this week, since I was running out of Clear Care. I hope it will be better than Renu (terrible product). Using it for the first time tonight. We will see.

    CIBA Vision was stupid to not post stuff on their site. they may have forced lots of people to try other cheaper products and commit to a new brand.

    I am glad though its coming back.

  54. PS My last check at Walmart in Marietta, GA (Atlanta) was on Tuesday 3/28, and they didn’t have it. I see on the other thread posted above http://www.visioncareforums.com/showsubject.asp?MessageID=7326&siteid=om
    that some people have found it again in some places in America.

    If anyone finds it in ATLANTA please post the place!
    Thanks.

  55. Luke and all,

    Thanks so much for all this info (and comic relief!). I ran out of ClearCare this week and it has sucked–searching everywhere and not getting answers. I finally called my ophthalmologist’s office yesterday and was also told of a contamination issue and that it will be until at least July before new supplies are out there. They also said that lots of customers were complaining of eye infections…hmmm…I just had a case of conjunctivitis about a month ago and last week I developed allergic conjunctivitis in both eyes! Wonder if it’s related. ANYway…I was told to try Opti-Free Replenish but that I’ll probably need some comfort drops in the meantime, too. Tried it last night and, so far, no issues with it. I don’t know what I’ll do if/when CC comes back onto the scene. Would like to boycott the product but I really did like it.

  56. You can find Clear Care online at http://www.duane-reade.com – 12oz for $8.99. However, if you want to boycott Ciba Vision’s product, they also carry an almost identical product called Duane Reade Clear Solution – 12 oz for $6.99. It is a 3% H2O2 no rub solution with a cup and disc. I have been using this substitute since I found it in the Duande Reade stores in NYC (see my previous post above on March 24). After using it for over a week, I cannot tell the difference between it and Clear Care even though I have very sensitive eyes.

  57. Well, I just googled and found this posting and a lot of other people that wasted a lot of gasoline – just like me.

    My optomitrist told me CIBA had recalled the product due to a manufacturing defect.

    I think CIBA should have broadcast a message. It is better if a company takes the eyeroad. Why wasn’t there anything on 20/20?

    Eye just found some 4/1/6 @ a local supermarket in Toronto.

  58. I too have been curious about the lack of CIBA Vision products on the shelves. I just recently found this blog and am glad it’s not just me. I thought I was losing my mind! The only product that I have found that even comes close is Ultracare. But it still isn’t the same as my CIBA Vision. My concern now is that when they bring it back – will it be the same? My eyes have been so uncomfortable for the last several months that I’m considering laser surgery so I don’t have to bother with these hunks of plastic anymore. Good luck to everyone! Even the web sites no longer carry it. If someone finds it back on the shelves any time soon, please let us all know.

  59. I am very disappointed with the way Ciba Vision is handling this situation too. I was told there was a spill and they will have the solution back on the shelves sometime in April. I sent Ciba Vision an email but they did not respond.

  60. I just found this site today, after spending two days looking for Clear Care all over town. For as long as this has been going on, I’m very surprised the the store staffs don’t know what’s going on. I mean, on April 2nd, can I really be the FIRST person to inquire “Where’s the Clear Care?” I’m happy to hear it’s coming back, but what crappy customer care!!

  61. Bev,
    That was well said. Not letting your customers know is bad enough, but not even letting your other target publics (retailers) know – that’s terrible. Interesting that none of the vendors seem to know what’s going on either. Sure, Bev, you might have been the first person to ask that paticular staff person, but I doubt it. Seriously, after the twenty-third person in a row asked you, wouldn’t you have started doing some digging yourself? Strange.
    I still maintain that something else is going on here. It’s unfortunate that there aren’t many good alternatives so we could show CIBA Vision how little we think of how little they think of us.

  62. Such great relief to find you all!!!

    I’m in Orlando, Florida, and discovered that AOSEPT was no long on the shelves about a month ago…I found ClearCare and spent some time at two different stores this weekend discovering it too was gone. At least now I know I’m not crazy…and I can stop swearing infront of the eye care section of the grocery store.:)

    Sadly, I just moved here, so I don’t have an eye doctor in this area yet. Thanks to everyone for all the great information!!

  63. I also use Aquify eye drops (another CIBA product) and was running out while on vacation in November of last year. I searched along our drive in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida and could not find any. Nor could I find any when we returned to Ohio so was forced to find something else. I thought they had stopped making it. Now I am running out of Clear Care and have been trying to find it at the usual places I always bought it with no luck. Today I stopped at every drug, grocery and discount store between my house and my mother’s. I wish I had found this site first. I could have saved all my gas and time.

    I too went to the website trying to find information and think it’s terrible that this has been going on this long and there is not even a scrap of information on their site. What are they trying to hide? I’ll be calling my eye doctor tomorrow to recommend a permanent replacement for Clear Care.

  64. Being a South Floridian, I thought this was a local issue. We’re used to shortages after getting hit by a bunch of hurricanes. Now thanks to Lukes blog, I see how widespread the shortage is as well as the apparent cause. I am late to the party because I only now ran down my heafty dual pack 😉
    This is unfortunate for all involved. I started using Clear Care on advice of my optomotrist after having issues with cleaning my lenses. Clear care solved those problems and frankly, I’m one of those people that didn’t even really know the name so much as I did recognize the packaging. My “awakening” began with me standing in a Walgreens saying to myself “now, I know it’s not the green one…or that one…what the heck?” I stopped by a CVS where in place of a huge empty space they had a sign appologising for the inconvenience (should have snapped a shot for good effect). I just picked up Ultracare which is kind of similar except you throw in enzymes and neutralizers here and there. I’m bad at remembering that kind of stuff. After all, I’m not a chemist. Oh well, I hope this is resolved soon, I can barely see after almost two weeks of this. Maybe I’ll update here if the Ultracare is useful. I already tried Complete Moisture Plus which was more like a “Complete waste of time”. Thanks again Luke!

  65. I was able to order it from CVS.com for $9/bottle. Free shipping on orders over $49, so I got a few things. Now I just have to wait and see if I actually get it…or if they discover that they should have taken it off their website like everyone else.

  66. I found a well stocked shelf of Clear Care at the Lunenburg MA WalMart ($7.79 for 12oz) on Saturday April 1 (no joke)… after two weeks of searching (2 WalMarts, 2 Targets, 8 CVS’s, 2 Stop&Shops, 2 Hannaford’s, 1 Brooks Pharmacy… some more than once). I bought four bottles (I was tempted to buy more, but I figure that if they are still having issues in 4-6 months, I should probably switch to something different anyway).

    Most local CVS stores I visited actually had small signs stating that there were distrobution problems from Ciba and that all Ciba products could be out of stock until further notice.

  67. What I recieved this morning from Ciba Vision:

    Hi Jessica,

    Thank you for contacting CIBA Vision. We always appreciate hearing from our consumers’ with their concerns and comments. Due to a manufacturing upgrade our products are on backorder. AO Sept will be available the second week of April and Clear Care will be back on the shelves at Wal-Mart, Target, CVS and Walgreens the first week of April. Please ask you eye care professional what you can use in the interim.

    We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused. Again, thank you for contacting CIBA Vision.

    Kind Regards
    Sherry Vanore
    Product Consultant

    And watch out for the sellers on ebay, they will lie horribly to get you to buy their 30$ bottle of Clear Care. One told me that it’s discontinued because plants in Canada closed.

  68. I echo the ‘hooray’s!” of everyone who google’d and found this site. I live in Manhattan and have not been able to find Clear Care at ANY of the 25 locations around my apartment. Luckily we have no Wal-Mart’s in town, and Target is a long train ride away. Here’s to hoping CVS and Walgreens stock up quickly.

    Thanks so much to all for substitution suggestions; guess I’ll head out now and try to find them.

  69. For anyone waiting not-so-patiently in Portland, OR, although availability is spotty (none of my close by regular stores including a Walgreens and a Target have stock yet), after calling around I found the further flung Gateway Target had shelves full of repackaged Clear Care as of today…so how about that, the early April news that trickled through turns out to be accurate!

    Thanks to all the sleuths who hunted down useful info and posted it, and good luck to all getting re-stocked

  70. thank god , i found this site. I have been making myself crazy trying to find any ciba vison product. First AO Sept disappeared, and when I figured out the Clear Care was the subsitute, then it disappeared. I thought I was losing my my mind. I am one of those who is allergic to most other brands and am been worried about my personal eye care. Thanks for investingating this issue. My sanity is restored.

  71. Thank you CIBA Vision. I had been toying with the idea of getting LASIK surgery but this fiasco you caused might just be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

  72. I am another who was very happy to finally find out what was going on… and then I read all of the posts. what the hell are they thinking at CIBA? If I happen to find any Clear Care today in Salt Lake City, I may consider stocking up, but only because I just bought a years worth of contacts. I have been a CC user for over 2 years, and I am a very strong brand loyalist, but after reading the posts on this site, I will not be a customer of theirs much longer. I am going to try to get my optometrist to take back the contacts that are not open and trade for daily wear, they may be a bit more to buy, but at least I won’t have to worry about ‘non-sterile lubricant’ contaminating my cleaning soulution and I can use my FSA to pay for it. Who let that happen anyway? Do they not have labels for the machines that say ” sterile products only” ? Who knows? I do know that they have lost me as a customer and I will be letting them know. I encourage everyone who has left a post or reads this to contact CIBA and let them know how this has affected them. Perhaps it will open a few eyes to the problem, but I will be surprised if it makes it past the so-called ‘CIBA Consultation Service’ or ‘Product Consultant’ person who opens the message. Perhaps we should tell John Stosel(?) about this for his ‘Gimme A Break’ 20/20 segment.
    p.s. I did find a full stock of AOSEPT at an Albertsons in Sandy, UT yesterday, but there were no disk cases, no saline, nothing usefull. Thanks for giving all of us an informative outlet Luke.

  73. I did receive the Clear Care I ordered from http://www.cvs.com. I also bought some while at a Walmart in Nacogdoches, Tx over the weekend. It hasn’t made it to Houston area, but they had plenty there and it was only $7.44.

  74. I just found another article on the CIBA Vision shortage at

    http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/news/content/shared/news/stories/CIBA_0330_COX.html

    It includes the most ridiculous quote from the CIBA Vision spokesperson: “We didn’t put out a notice because we felt enough product was out there.” How can CIBA Vision be so totally clueless??!?? Enough product out there?? WHERE?? This blog and the 70 plus comments it generated from all over the country (and Canada as well) indicates that consumers were clearly experiencing a shortage. I am so fed up with CIBA Vision that I am *really* hoping a similar product by another company comes out soon. Any company with such ignorance does not deserve customer loyalty.

  75. Have to add my two cents after searching my town and the surrounding area for Quick Care. No one at either of the two CVS’s, the Brooks Pharmacy, the Super Stop & Shop (Supermarket), the Shaw’s Supermarket, or the Market Basket grocery store (all of which have carried Quick Care in the past) had a clue; only CVS had the sign that’s been referred to in previous posts. I usually have a back-up supply, but, not realizing there was a shortage, am using that last bottle. And, just in case the CIBA folks bother to follow this post, it’s APRIL 4th according to my calendar, and not a delivery in sight to the North Shore of Massachusetts of your products! I reallyl don’t like Bausch & Lomb products but may be forced back to them if CIBA doesn’t get their act together. One can only hope that someone with a brain at CIBA will remember this screw-up come big-wig bonus time!

  76. Like most of you, I checked out Walmart, Target, Walgreens, etc., and found the shelves empty. My eye Dr only had a few sample bottles of Clear Care and wasn’t aware of any shortage. Today (April 4th), I met with the owner of The Optical Center in Crystal Lake, IL. The owner was not aware that CIBA Vision products were impossible to find because he keeps a large inventory of Clear Care and hasn’t had the need to reorder product during this shortage. In fact, he has four (4) CASES of Clear Care on hand. If you live near Crystal Lake, you now know where there’s currently a source of product. If you don’t live near Crystal Lake, don’t forget to check out your local optical shops for CIBA Vision products. You just might find a nice supply like I happened upon today. The question remains … will CIBA Vision in fact meet their promised delivery schedule to the stores? And, will CIBA Vision include a discount or coupon or “buy one-get one free” for all of their loyal customers that were inconvenienced by not keeping us informed? Perhaps an apology? Perhaps a thank you? If product contamination is the real reason for the product shortage, I’m just thankful that CIBA Vision caught the problem and is correcting it before anyone’s health/vision was negatively impacted…but they still should have kept us informed.

  77. I sit an laugh as I read everyone’s comments. I have been going crazy the last 2 months trying to find my solution!!! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one in the world!! I got the last bottle today at CVS (after I searched 2 other places). I was glad to find it but very upset by the note about them not having it for a couple of months. Hopefully they figure something out soon at CIBA Vision……Do you think the same people running CIBA Vision are also running the Delphi plants????

  78. Same deal in Los Angeles. I guess I got lucky last time, after five stores, to find a bottle in the back of the bottom shelf in late Feb. Not so lucky today!

    I don’t know how they could have an “issue with sterilization” of a sterilizing agent…. Ironic! I use AOsept because I have problems with the other gummier solutions, but relatively speaking, we must be in the minority, which would also explain just why the stupid stuff is so expensive to begin with. It’s just hydrogen peroxide with a buffer. Can’t cost THAT much — except for the corner they seem to have on the market!

    All seems a little fishy — I found this searching to make sure they hadn’t been hugely sued or something (I have serious degenerative corneal condition that is most likely inherited — but you never know. Created a wave of paranoia for me when the stuff went away). Found this. Maybe the outgoing CEO made off with the keys to the shop! Who knows.

    Not sure what to do for the next month! But I like the H2O2 products. I don’t like to put chemicals in my eyes.

    Luke: thanks for being the bad propaganda police!

    Best regards,
    Julie

  79. Whew!!! Thanks for all of your emails!! I live in West Richland, Washington state and have not been able to find Aosept at Costco or Walmart. After wearing contact lenses for over 25 years,,,I was getting a bit nervous about the possibility of a recall or consumer alert that I may have missed. Shame on Ciba Vision & Novartis for not having all participating stores post a sheet on their shelves where the product is missing. Thank goodness I had stocked up a bit @ Costco a while back!!! Thanks again!

  80. Same Ciba problem in the Northwest…Can’t find it anywhere…What a joke! Bad PR on Ciba’s part. I think they’re going to lose a whole lot of customers to Ultra Care. Hope they’re seeing these comments from all over the country. They may have a big surprise when they re-stock the store shelves!

    Kathy

  81. Whew, I am so glad to read all these posts. I, like so many of you indicate, have searched store after store after store for my Ciba Softwear Solution. I’ve been through all the stages of anxiety you report as well. From the “o.k. I’m nuts” to the cursing under my breath from frustruation. I agree, it’s pretty sorry of Ciba to leave us all out on a limb here. I think their company should realize how much their customers depend on their products. It’s the equalivant of taking away a patient’s medicine and telling them to find something else that works. As for me, I’ve been limping along trying to make due with other products and hoping that every time I visit the store that Ciba will have returned. Good luck to you all and thanks for the posts. One more thing, Ciba…get a clue and treat your customers with more respect!

  82. Encouragement to those in the NW! Found that Target Stores were restocked as of this AM! Woo hoo!! My husband is bringing home the stash as I write — can’t wait. April 5 must be the day! Thanks to Alexia for the tip on the Gateway Target in Portland OR. Interesting further comments re reason for the disappearance of the stuff at: http://www.visioncareforums.com/showsubject.asp?MessageID=7326&siteid=om
    Something about a lawsuit with Johnson & Johnson re advertising — don’t know if it’s true. They do have a storebrand similar product at Duane Reade in NYC (mentioned above) — out of desperation ordered some this AM. As much as I would love to say so goodbye to Ciba for this insane state of affairs, until I find something better, I’ll just have to grit my teeth and realize they have me, as a consumer, over a barrel. The minute this stuff goes off patent, I’ll go with a competitor’s similar product because of the way the company handled this.

  83. I tried the Duane Reade online pharmacy – I went through the entire ordering process and then the following day received an e-mail from them stating that they were out of the product. Anybody find this solution somewhere else online?

  84. I only just ran out of Aosept this week after having stocked up at Costco in December. The pharmacy in Vancouver Canada has a sign on the shelf saying product would not be available until June! This is a very unusual, I would have to say unheard of, situation almost fishy….not wanting to scare anyone but Bausch & Lomb is involved in an investigation of serious eye infections in contact lens wearers in Asia and Singapore, at least, has pulled their products off the shelves.
    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/060331/bausch_lomb_fungus.html?.v=1

    May not be related at all, but worth monitoring I think.

  85. I JUST noticed that no one had Clear Care! I have problems with all other contact solutions and when I ran out was surprised it wasn’t at the local RiteAid but after 4 other stores with no luck I thought it had been recalled. Thanks for the info.. I couldn’t get any answers from the workers at the pharmacy or the website either

  86. This is an eye health issue!

    As a wearer of contact lenses for over 25 years and a faithful user of AOSept for many years I am appalled at the lack of availability of products on the market that would be comparable to AOSept or Clear Care. AOSept, Clear Care and Ultra Care don’t seem to be available here in Virginia either. I tried Renu thinking that maybe I was just behind the times and that these multi-purpose solutions must be state of the art because that was all that was available. Boy was I wrong! My eyes have been dry, burning and irritated for two weeks now. Even keeping my lenses out has not completely solved the problem. Luckily, my eye doctors office had a supply of Clear Care samples that they gave me to use. My eyes are much improved but not normal yet. I’ll see my doctor this week if it does not change now that I’ve discontinued the use of the multi-purpose solution. So beware switching to products that you haven’t used before without checking with your eye doctor! The only thing you’ve got to lose is your vision.

  87. I am also frustrated and astounded at the way Ciba has handled this. I also got a vague explanation when I emailed and called them, and was worried the product was recalled without my knowledge. I still don’t see the product anywhere around Tampa and I don’t see it online at CVS…..so I guess I will be switching brands permanently!!

  88. Just found out yesterday about the major problem of lack of AoSept availability. Went into mild panic state, since I’ve had multiple eye surgeries and am wearing only one (Aphakic) contact lens. Been using AoSept for the last 10 years and Quick Care from Friday to Monday or for longer periods when I don’t wear the lens. Went home- phoned CIBA, on hold for 15 minutes. Was told to use Clear Care, consult with my eye doctor and, oh, by the way Quick Care was also being discontinued. AoSept would make a return to the shelves early April.
    This morning I walked from 106th street and Broadway here in NYC, stopping at every ‘drugstore’ zizzagging all over Broadway like a mad woman. Finally! I found AoSept in the ’80’s!!! Alleluiah! I felt as if I had won the lottery. Bought $50.00 worth of it. Now if only I could find out how to replace Quick Care?
    What exactly happened with Cibavision? Law suit? Contamination? Recall? Wish I knew!
    Good luck to everyone. I agree with you that Cibavision did and is still doing a very poor p.r. job.
    I got a lot of blank looks from clerks and one even said; “Oh, it’s all been discontinued”.

  89. I too have looked everywhere for ciba products, and again no answers from my eye doc or all vision centers in Wal-mart or any other retail store. Hopefully the last “batch” of Clear Care was not contaminated. It is hared ot beleive that Ciba has all the products for a contact cleaner, and that nobody knows why the delay. I also find it hard to beleive that in America, there was no report or communication on this subject. I never want to buy support Ciba again. I guess the only choice is to go back to glasses, which I am about to do. Thanks–Jill

  90. It is now April 9th and the product is still not on the shelf… My husband is in a tizzy about what to use…Thanks for the info about ultracare…I will try to find this in WI..
    Only 1 store in our area had a note stating the company had manufacturer contamination that contributed to the products being unavailable..Thanks for everthing..Joelle

  91. In search of clear care today at several stores, completely unaware of these difficulties and found this interesting site. The Target kid told me the “manufacturer was having difficulty obtaining one of the ingredients.” hmm… Then went on e-bay and was out-bid from some poor desperate soul who paid $51.00 plus shipping for three 4 oz. bottles. This is ridiculous.

  92. I’ve been looking all over for clear care. I live in Arizona and not a drop to be found. I got that same lame e-mail from Ciba Vison. It is now April 9th and no Clear Care. I’m at my wits end. I guess I will have to go beg my eye doctor for some or pay big $ on e-bay. I really like this stuff and I hope that CV will get their S**T together soon.

  93. my eyes hurt, sigh

  94. I TOO GOT AN EMAIL FROM CIBA VISION AFTER I EMAILED THEM A FRANTIC HELP REQUEST. THEY BASICALLY DO NOT CARE. I DID GO ONLINE WITH CVS.COM TO ORDER 3 BOTTLES. I DID GET AN EMAIL SAYING MY ORDER WAS CONFIRMED. SO MY FINGERS ARE CROSSED ! I CALLED 2 LOCAL CVS HERE IN ATLANTA & WAS TOLD THEY GOT IN A SHIPMENT LAST WEEK WHICH FLEW OFF THE SHELVES . GEE WONDER WHY.
    THERE IS SOME SOLACE IN KNOWING THAT I AM NOT CRAZY. EVERY PLACE I WENT LOOKED AT ME BLANKLY WHEN I ASKED ABOUT A SHORTAGE

  95. I have been a user of AOSept since I was unable to find a heating unit to replace a broken one 3 years ago. After 30 yrs of contact lens wear without an infection I am very cautious about making any changes. After AOSept disappeared from the market I was forced to use ClearCare and found it to be very irritating/unuseable. With a little experimentation I have found that mixing one third ClearCare with two thirds saline in the soaking container seems to solve the problem. The chemical reaction with the neutralizing ring is still very active and I am not having any problems with burning or itching. Vision is good. I wouldn’t fool around – if you try this and you experience any discomfort…..STOP USING!

  96. Ciba and the rest of the contact lens world lost one customer, my wife, permenantly. Like many of you experienced, the shelves went bare, we burned a ton of gas searching stores we don’t normally shop at to no avail, the eye doctor had no more information than we did.

    After switching solutions she developed serious irritation and conjunctivitus, the eye doctor recommended discontinuing use of contact lenses in her case, period. After reading about the rash of fusarium fugal infections (hard to identify, treat, and can cause permenant blindness) apparently correlated to a different lens solution, she’s pretty happy with her new glasses.

    As a former contact lens wearer who gave up and went back to glasses years ago after repeated infections and chemical sensitivity issues, I will offer this to any contact lens wears considering re-joining us old-school geeks with specs. There have been changes to the technology in lenses for glasses over the years you may not have heard about: my Rx in glass and metal frames used to weigh in at a whopping 13 ounces (damn things would fly off my head from inertia whenever I turned my head quickly). Later poly-carbonate lenses and titanium frames got that down to 7 grams – much better, but scratched up pretty easily. Now I’m in Zeiss High Index lenses and titanium frames, and pretty much the same Rx that used to weigh close to a pound pound in glass/metal comes in at under 2 grams, scratch resistance is good, and the titanium frames are unbelievably durable (I’m very rough on frames, used to be in the repair shop at least once every 6 months with older metal frames, I’ve had Ti frames for over 6 years now with only one repair needed in that time, and that was covered under warrenty).

  97. I believe I heard that Renu has stopped shipping on the radio this morning. Time to stock up and sell on ebay in a few months! (kidding)

    Ryan – Unfortunately for some of us, specs are not an option (Keratoconus). The best I can get in glasses is a plano in the left (wont correct at all… 20/200), and corrected to a bad (ghosty) 20/40 in the right.

    What makes this all even worse for me is that I wear a Softperm (Ciba) contact lens in my right eye. These are a hybrid lens with an RGP center and a soft skirt. My options for solutions that are RGP and soft lens compaitble (and no rub due to fragility) are quite limited.

    I would LOVE to be able to wear glasses and be able to function.

    Thankfully I managed to pick up 4 bottles of Clear Care about 2 weeks ago at a local WalMart.

  98. See this link from The AJC , they claim they never ran out of product 😦

  99. I wish I read this before I set out on my fruitless search today. I went to 4 different stores and then called 6 others before I finally got the news that two bottles would be put on hold for me. When I arrived at the 1 hour glasses location at the mall, they didn’t have it. The girl told me that the product was recalled due to a contamination in China. You’d think that Ciba would try a little damage control at this point especially with the news about Renu. Don’t they realize that the employees at the retailers could be telling all kinds of stories? We are beyond their 1st week of April promise and still nothing in the western suburbs of Chicago. Looks like I’m forced to try a competitor’s product (their suggestion). So ridiculous! Are there any businessmen at Ciba concerned about the potential losses they will suffer from their lack of communication? I for one will not try their new product. Wish me luck.

  100. Does anyone else find it interesting that this is just getting a lot of PR (can you say “publicity stunt” as the product is re-introduced & to make the shortage seem as minor as possible)? Google News “Clear Care” and there are 40 identical articles articles. The Atlanta Journal-Constitutions is the most interesting & original. I especially like the “anecdotal reports” of missing product. How about “widespread”?

    Eye care products returning to stores after two month hiatus
    By PATTI BOND
    Cox News Service
    Thursday, March 30, 2006
    ATLANTA — Contact lens wearers soon may see something they haven’t in a while — the Clear Care brand.

    The popular cleaning solution and affiliated eye care products have been missing from some store shelves since a slip-up at a manufacturing plant caused contact lens maker CIBA Vision to take them out of production.

    But Duluth, Ga.-based CIBA Vision says it has begun shipping the products again, after a hiatus of more than two months.

    The company discovered at the end of 2005 that a “nonsterile lubricant” had been used on machinery at a plant in Toronto. The company said no contaminated products left the plant.

    “As a precautionary measure, we suspended production,” said Laurie Sillay Lahr, spokeswoman for CIBA Vision. “Everything that had already left the plant was safe. It was just a precautionary measure on our part, not a product recall.”

    The plant was up and running again at the beginning of this year, she said, but it has taken CIBA Vision a couple of months to build up supply of Clear Care and AQuify MPS, another cleaning solution affected.

    “We just started shipping to retail stores a few weeks ago, and the products have already started showing up on shelves,” Sillay Lahr said. “We regret any inconvenience that this has caused to consumers, but the good news is that they’ll start seeing an increase in supply over the next few months.”

    CIBA Vision, which is owned by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis and has a large contact lens plant in Duluth, declined to say how much of an impact its Toronto shutdown had on sales.

    There have been anecdotal reports of shortages at stores in Chicago, Montreal and around metro Atlanta, for example. Yet Sillay Lahr said there was a stockpile of product already on the market when CIBA Vision stopped production.

    “We’ve heard of some shortages in the last few weeks, but a lot of stores had inventory and never ran out,” she said.

    The company battled rumors about recalls and other misinformation as some shelves ran dry of its contact lens solutions. A CVS store employee in Decatur, Ga., for example, said this week that the bare spot where Clear Care used to be was caused by the wait for a “new formula” that CIBA Vision was about to launch.

    The company’s Web site hasn’t made reference to the product shortage (although it plans to post information about the shipping, Sillay Lahr said). Instead, CIBA Vision recorded product updates on its consumer phone line.

    “We didn’t put out a notice because we felt enough product was out there,” Sillay Lahr said.

    And then there are those nosy rivals.

    “We didn’t want to spell out all the details for competitive reasons.”

  101. I thought I was going crazy when I searched EVERY where for Clear Care. Not one person could tell me a thing! I can’t believe it. I just stopped wearing my contacts. I didn’t know else I could use. I was just fed up. Today I heard that there is a problem with Renu with moisture loc.(Glad I didn’t try that.) So I did some research and found this site. I hope that you all are right and it is on the shelves since it is April 12th. Wish me luck!!

  102. I cant believe this is the only place I can get information on this topic. In the Central Texas area, you cannot find AOSEPT, Clear Care, or MiraFlow anywhere. They are all gone (one exception, read below).

    http://www.cvs.com does have some AOSEPT in stock (they tell me they are going fast. I was fortunate enough to buy a couple of boxes of AOSEPT at a Wallgreens in Austin Texas. As of last night they had about 5 boxes left (it’s on William Cannon Blvd, for those interested).

    I ended up buying 2 boxes of MiraFlow on Ebay for $26 total. Ridiculous!

    J. Abraham

  103. Just a reminder – check with your eye doctor to see if they may have samples of Clear Care to give you.

    I checked with mine and recieved a great supply of 4 oz. bottles and no, I don’t plan to sell them on E-bay! I see much better with contacts than glasses so I’m grateful to have the Clear Care. Shame on those people who are price-gouging on E-Bay!

    Thank you Ryan Gavin for your info on Zeiss High Index lenses, I will “look” into that.

    Also, I saw my MD today and had him check my eyes because I was a little worried about the irritation, burning and dryness caused by trying ReNu. All clear, just a little reaction to the new solution which, of course, I am no longer using. Whew! That was a relief!

    The ReNu multi-purpose solution I tried did not say “moisture loc” on the bottle.

  104. Thought this article from the New York Times dated 04/11/06 would be of great interest regarding the Bausch & Lomb ReNu product with Moisture Loc. Many of us are trying different solutions since we can’t get Clear Care and if you are having trouble with ReNu please read the following —

    Eye Infections May Be Tied to a Solution for Lenses
    E-MailPrint Reprints Save By GARDINER HARRIS
    Published: April 11, 2006
    After 109 patients in 17 states became infected with severe fungal eye infections, federal health officials are investigating whether a popular contact lens cleaning solution might be the cause.

    Bausch & Lomb stopped shipments but not sales of the solution, Renu with MoistureLoc, after initial reports found that many of those infected had used the product.

    All 109 infection cases occurred between June 15, 2005, and March 18, and there may be many more. Eight victims required corneal transplants to avert blindness.

    Officials have been able to investigate only 30 of the cases. Of those, 28 patients wore soft contact lenses, and all but two of those used Renu products for cleaning. Five of the 26 patients who used Renu products also used other cleaning products.

    Dr. Daniel Schultz, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s device center, said he did not know if or why Renu products might leave patients more susceptible to the infections.

    “The data are not as clear or as specific as we would like,” Dr. Schultz said. “We do believe there is a numerical association with the Bausch & Lomb Renu product. Within the analysis, we believe that the highest association is with the Renu with MoistureLoc solution.”

    A similar outbreak in February in Hong Kong and Singapore led Bausch & Lomb to stop shipping Renu with MoistureLoc to those countries, but health officials said that they had no suspicions then that such cases were also occurring in the United States.

    Stores can continue to sell Renu until supplies run out, Dr. Schultz said. An estimated 30 million Americans wear soft contact lenses.

    Federal inspectors are going over Bausch & Lomb’s plant in Greenville, S.C., in an investigation that should be completed “within a matter of days,” said Tim Ulatowski, an F.D.A. enforcement official.

    In a prepared statement, Ronald L. Zarrella, Bausch & Lomb’s chairman and chief executive, said that much remained unknown about the cases.

    “Nonetheless, in the interest of public health, we will voluntarily suspend U.S. shipments of Renu with MoistureLoc while we pursue all appropriate steps to bring this investigation to a definitive conclusion,” Mr. Zarrella said.

    The concerns began on March 8 when a New Jersey ophthalmologist called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to say that he had seen three patients in the previous three months who were suffering from the rare fungal eye infection, Fusarium keratitis.

    Centers officials called corneal disease specialists around the country and found that other doctors had also seen an increase in such cases.

    Fungal infections are quite rare but are more likely to occur in the South. That so many cases occurred in New York and New Jersey caused particular concern, Dr. Schultz said.

    Dr. Schultz said that the investigation into the infections was still early and that officials might arrive at other conclusions about what to do.

    Dr. Schultz said that the drug agency was aware of the cases in Asia in February, but “we did not have evidence of cases here in the United States.”

    The centers called the drug agency on March 8 after it received the initial report from the New Jersey ophthalmologist and “we started having intensive discussions with the C.D.C. and the company,” Dr. Schultz said.

    Dr. Schultz called Bausch & Lomb’s decision to stop shipments but not sales of its Renu with MoistureLoc product “a very appropriate and responsible action.” He said the halt was done voluntarily. It is exceptionally rare for the drug agency to order a sales ban over the objections of a manufacturer.

    Dr. Malvina B. Eydelman, an eye specialist with the F.D.A., said that patients using soft contact lenses who have redness, pain, tearing, discharge, an increased sensitivity to light or blurred vision should see an ophthalmologist. Doctors should be particularly alert to the possibility of fungal infections and take cultures before starting treatment.

    The usual treatments for such infections are topical and oral antifungal medications. If these fail, surgery may be required, according to a bulletin released by the C.D.C.

    Health officials also counseled contact lens users to wash their hands with soap and water and dry them before handling lenses. Dr. Eydelman said users should use a “rub and rinse” method of cleaning their lenses rather than a no-rub method.

    Fungal infections happen most often after eyes have been hit directly with plant material. The infections are not contagious.

    The drug agency has little ability to uncover drug or device dangers on its own. It relies on voluntary reports from doctors and patients, but such reports are rare and often difficult to interpret.

  105. I was lucky to find 2 bottles of ClearCare at a Target here in W. Michigan 4/11. I’m pretty sure they are from a recent shipment as I have looked at this store several times before in the past several months and have found none (and the boxes are intact!) Hopefully that means everyone will have more soon.

    My main purpose in writing is to thank you for creating this web site. When Aosept and then ClearCare disappeared from my store’s shelves I figured I must be one of the last to still be using these products and that they had discontinued them. I finally turned to the Internet to see if I could find anything and when the manufacturer’s site was not helpful, happened upon yours.

    Thanks again for all of the info (and laughs!)

  106. I feel everyone’s pain…..Though my story is a little different. In early Jan ’06 I was running out of AEOcept (which I have used forever) but when I went to buy it all the shelves in all my local stores were filled with Clear Care. I read the bottle and it was made by Ciba so I finally bought a double pack. I used the Clear Care for the first time Jan 11 and by the end of the day Jan 12 I had a terrible eye infection. I went on line and got a phone # for Ciba and spoke to a customer service rep. and explained my issue. She stated that the only difference in Clear Care and AEPcept was a mild detergent added and that shouldn’t cause an infection. I was never told of any problems at the plant. Well Jan 14 I went to my eye doctor and had a major eye infection and was given medication. So I took the meds and wore my glasses after a couple weeks I tried to wear my contacts again (using Clear Care) and I got the infection back. So I had to get more meds. threw away my contacts because they were contaminated. So as I look back on this miscommunication from Ciba it has currently cost me $300+ (new contacts, office visits and medications) This doesn’t even include the gas cost of running all over town in Jan looking for AEOcept. I believe that my ClearCare was contaminated. For the last month I have been wearing my new contacts and using a competitors cleaning solution with No Problems. Sincerely, disappointed Denise

  107. I’m from Iowa and posted to this site earlier. I’m now in Indiana on vacation and decided to do some hunting around here for AOSept. I found 3 bottles at the CVS in Vincennes, IN and I bought all three. Then I found a decent supply of Clear Care in Linton, IN. I bought only one and left the rest for other users of the product. Then, when I returned I saw the article on CNN.com about the problem with ReNu! Can you believe that so many people are having problems with contact lens care right now? Seems a little more than coincidence! I also want to thank everyone for the great information that have provided on this issue over the last several months. It’s great to have found a community of people with so much information about a topic that is quite important to me.

    Take care everyone. C U Later!

    Liz

  108. My son and I both use ClearCare. Ciba sent me one small bottle of ClearCare in February after I e-mailed them. I gave it to my son. I have been using UltraCare, but my eyes are not as comfortable as with the ClearCare and I don’t like fussing with the tablets. I won’t give UltraCare to my son–I fear that he’ll forget to add the tablet one night and burn his eye the next day. I’m in NJ, so if I get to New York state, I’ll find a Duane Reade and try their store brand. (Thanks for those comments.) My son attends college in PA and he had no problem finding ClearCare in March. I searched there recently and it’s all gone now. I have spent far too much time searching for this product and for information about its disappearance. I would welcome a useful alternative to Ciba products.

  109. I am so glad I found this site. I actually was able to order the Duane Reade brand, which will be in on Wednesday and the new (I think) Aosept replacement of the ClearCare from the CVS website. Thanks to those of you who have tracked it down. Alexandria has been out of ClearCare for some time now. So, I started using ReNu MoistureLoc..that is until yesterday, when I read the full-page letter from the prez about the fungus thing. I had some Opti stuff left in the house and now I am using it. Doing the enzyme cleaner once a week has helped the lenses not get too filmy. I checked ebay for ClearCare but I am not alone there and quite frankly, there appears to be a frenzy out there, worse than a gas crisis. People are bidding $50-60 for 4 bottles and paying $10 on top of that to ship. Plus, I am concerned that if there is indeed a production issue as I read about (non-sterile something or other in their production), then people are paying huge sums of money for potentially contaminated stuff that was produced prior to the shutdown and reopening of the plant. But who knows what the deal is since we haven’t really gotten anything official. The folks at Ciba Vision really need a big lesson in Customer Communications 101.

  110. Well okay! I thought I was missing something when I couldn’t find the solution and kept going from Target to Safeway to Bartells to Fred Meyer to all to no avail. There’s still no sighting in Redmond WA and I’m sitting here wondering where exactly I should put my contacts tonight…and what to use instead…sigh.

  111. hi

  112. hi there. i’m in texas and guess what no clear care anywhere in lubbock. i called all the wal-mart stores, walgreens, united supermarkets, and even Kmart. no clear care. early april……liars! Kmart is the only people who had an answer…..recall….they said they had stock but they can’t put it out because it was recalled. it can’t be true. a lady i work with found 2 bottles at walmart 2 weeks ago but none since. i loved clear care but why no answers. i wear gas permeables and that was the only brand i loved!!! there is even some on ebay…..give me a break….i’m calling 20/20!lol.
    cat

  113. Still no Clear Care in Denver. We are already in the 3rd week of April.

  114. Same as Denver, April 19 and still no Clear Care in Pittsburgh, + now they are pulling one of my substitutes – Renu w/Moisture bloc solution…is there a problem with Clear Clear besides retocking shelves??

  115. CLERZ DROPS WORKED BETTER THEN ANYTHING ELSE ON THE MARKET.WHY WAS IT DISCONTINUED AND REPLACED BY AQUIFY DROPS WHICH WORK HALF AS WELL AND CAN’T EVEN BE PURCHASED ANYWAY BECAUSE OF YOUR PRODUCTION ISSUES?

  116. I use Clerz drops but they are made by Alcon. I’m not sure what your comment about them being discontinued and replaced by Aquify drops means? I found Clear Care here in MD today on my 8th store. I use Quick Care and have enough to last until until June but I wanted to start and get Clear Care meanwhile. Aquify solution and drops are still able to be found here. Has anyone tried that solution?

  117. Well, I am so thankful to the person who started this website. I thought I was going crazy too. It is a relief to find out the truth. I have been looking for Quick Care for a couple of months and I assumed that I kept missing it as they restocked the product but I am completely out now. So today, like many others, I went to every store in my area and no one knew anything about the missing product. I bought a new cleaning solution and I’m nervous about trying it tonight. It takes a long time to recover from an allergic reaction or infection from a product. Too frustrating and completely unnecessary.

    I have never heard of Aosept or Clear Care but I have used Quick Care for about 12 years without experiencing any eye problems and I am furious to learn that it is being discontinued. Does anyone know why it is being discontinued? It is a fabulous product, why would they do away with it? Perhaps, another competitor has bought Ciba out and they are doing away with their competition’s product so we’ll buy their inferior product. This is a regular business proceedure used by corporations. It makes a lot more sense than blaming it on a facility fire. I doubt that it would take six months to get their product back on the market after a fire.

    And, here’s some food for thought – I think I’ll totally rebel. Maybe I’ll just stop wearing contacts and glasses completely and work on improving my eye sight. I accomplished this a couple of years ago after reading a book called, Eyerobics, by Marilyn Roy. It explained that contact lenses & glasses weaken the muscles of our eyes, making new prescriptions necessary, and that there are things you can do to strengthen your eyes again, reversing your bad eyesight. She explains that wearing corrective lenses are like using crutches, if you continue to use crutches (or wheel chair) you would eventually lose the ability to walk since you would weaken the muscles in your legs. We do the same with our eyes when we wear corrective lenses. Marilyn Roy recommends that you stop wearing corrective lenses, or at least wear an old pair of glasses (or use pin hole glasses) for a while during the interim (plus a few other suggestions).

    I have monovision where my right eye is much worse than my left eye. So, after reading this book, I started wearing an old pair of glasses, bought some pin hole glasses, and I stopped wearing the contact lense in my left eye and wore my left contact in my right eye and in 9 months my eyesight greatly improved! It was a lot easier than I had anticipated. Surprisingly, my eye doctor was upset by the improvement and reluctantly gave me a lower prescription. I was able to stop wearing my contacts since my husband and I were car pooling and I didn’t have to drive. But, when I had to start driving again I began wearing my contacts again, and they have worsened. So, I think I’m going to begin working on restoring my eyesight again, maybe I’ll never have to wear contacts or glasses ever again within a year.

    You will experience a little headache in the beginning since your eye muscles are starting to work again but it is the only uncomfortable thing about it.

    If you are interested in joining the rebellion, here are a few websites on the subject;
    http://www.eyesercise.com/comments.html
    http://www.rebuildyourvision.com/
    http://www.pinholes.com/feedbk.htm

  118. Okay, so I’m not going crazy …

    Same story in the south San Francisco Bay Area (silicon valley): Ciba AOSept/ClearCare unavailable across multiple stores in a 50-mile radius with all managers and pharmacists clueless.

    For me AOSept works better than all the other products I’ve tried, so it’s good to know that this was apparrently “only” a production problem, not a discontinuance, and I certainly hope the supply chain will start filling up again soon.

    Ben

  119. hi everyone,
    just recieved 7 bottles of AOSept from CVS.com for about 7.99 each. whew

  120. Alaina, I too have used Quick Care for a long time and never had a problem with it. The begining of January I noticed it was disapearing from store shelves. I called Ciba on 1/10 and they said it was being discontinued because it didn’t meet the level of sales that they had set for it. It’s a shame because it is a great product and quick without the harsh preservatives of MPS. It really is the perfect product for lenses. Too bad people are too busy/lazy to rub their lenses for 30 seconds each and get a better result then with a MPS solution. When Aquify came out in 2004 I knew the days were numbered for Quick Care.

    I thought AOSept was being discontinued in the US and replaced by Clear Care? AOSept isn’t mentioned under lens care products on the US web site. Are the people who are buying this online getting old product or are you outside the US?

    When I called Ciba in January they had the recording about the problem with the plant and that products should be shipped the begining of January! Then it got changed to April and products are still hard to find so I for one, don’t trust them.

  121. Just got off the phone with a CVS pharmacist in Illinois to check if they had Clear Care in stock. During the course of the conversation, he said that Ciba is misrepresenting the situation. He says there is no “upgrade to the manufacturing facility” going on. Rather, he said it was due to a mistake at the plant. Someone cleaned the machine(s) with the wrong chemicals. By the time they realized what had happened, they were not able to pin-point which lots had been affected. So everything was pulled off the shelves at retailers and the machine(s) at the plant had to be properly cleaned, inspected, tested, etc. before production could begin again. He didn’t have any product in stock. I just placed an order over CVS.com (thanks to kristy koeppe’s post above!) and immediately called their toll free number to confirm that the product was actually in stock. The lady I spoke with (very nice & helpful, by the way) confirmed that they had 1900 pieces in stock and that my order would be fulfilled. She says the stuff is flying off their shelves and they are experiencing a very large call volume from consumers asking about the product. The lady I spoke with had already checked her inventory several times today due to calls she was receiving. Anyway, I should receive my order Monday or Tuesday. Crossing my fingers…

  122. Clear Care is available right now at http://www.cvs.com I just received a confirmation that my order has been placed.

  123. I placed an order for Aosept disinfectant at cvs.com on Monday and received confirmation. Yesterday, I received another note that it’s now on back order. ::sigh::

  124. I’ve read several of your comments on this site and I couldn’t agree with you more about the need for good communication between companies selling products and the consumers who buy them. Clearly Ciba goofed on this one and I’m sure the effect of the aftermath will be vividly clear when they see their bottom line.

    The one point that I would like to talk bout is about your local pharmacists. I feel it is unfair to expect your pharmacists to know about what’s going on in the marketplace beyond the field of medicine.

    Why is that? Several reasons: your druggist focuses their attention on what they were trained for–namely prescription drugs, filling prescriptions, patient counseling etc. Contact lens solutions and eyedrops fall on the outside of their realm of expertise.

    If you assume that just because a product is lined up on a wall in front of the pharmacy that the pharmacist is in charge of it and the ordering of it, you would be very much mistaken.

    Stores are very jealous of the space they have for the products they want to sell and any open area is fair game for display. That’s why most pharmacies have a mix of eye care, vitamins, bandages etc. all round them. Product placement and space is the name of the game.

    The “blank look” on a pharmacist’s face doesn’t mean they don’t care–they were left in the dark too about the problem just like you. If they knew why, they would tell you!

    Pharmacist do so much to help people and I feel that it’s unfair to expect them to know all. Please keep this in mind the next time you visit a store and ask questions about why things are out of stock.

  125. Jane,
    I get the impression that people aren’t mad at the pharmacist as much as shocked that EVEN the pharmacist doesn’t know what’s going on. Again, the problem goes to the source, not the middleman. It would be nice to see that CIBA Vision had kept all members of the chain informed as to what was going on – including pharmacists who would certainly be responsible for fielding questions to the public.
    Any person who frequently deals with people as part of their job MUST be seen by the company as a source of information. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, physicists – I don’t care how much education you have, if you deal with people on a regular basis you should be able to talk to them. Consumers WILL see you as a source regardless.
    So my point is this: No one is blaming the retailers for not knowing what’s going on, it just goes to show that CIBA Vision is screwing the middleman as much as the consumer with lack of information. They are putting the retailers in uncomfortable positions, but no one is blaming CVS or Wal-mart or Walgreens for this, it is CIBA Vision’s fault.
    Also, something is being covered up. No one works like this, no one. There are other factors involved, I just hope we find out what they are sooner or later.

  126. Hi everyone!

    I’m a student from Luxemburg/Europe and I found this site when I was making research why Titmus H2O2 from CibaVision isn’t obtainable.
    I use this product now since 1998 and I’m very content with it, but last week my optician told me that CibaVision will never produce it again and that it is sold out. Another optician sad that perhaps in september 2006 they will have it again in their shops. Finally 4 different opticians had 4 different informations from CibaVision about the production of their products. How can this happens?? An each one of them told me that they have no alternative product for my lenses. Fantastic, I only have Titmus Solution for 3 days and must find something else and hope that I will get no allergy or something similar.
    What is really going on there??? Are they producing again and when can I get it in Europe? Can anyone tell me what’s happenig?

  127. I’m glad to have found your blog here! I was wondering what happened to this great product I recently discovered.

    I can’t believe Ciba Vision doesn’t have anything on their site about this shortage/delay… whatever you want to call it. I’ve been out of this product for at least a month, and I would’ve stocked up on a few extra bottles had I known!

    I called Ciba Vision’s 800 number just a few minutes ago, and got their recording… “We are pleased to announce shipments of Clear Care resumed to many major retailers….. Wal-Mart, Target, Eckard, Kroger, CVS, Rite-Aid, Safeway… many stores will be stocking their selves and building reserve stock over the next few weeks…. ”

    For all of us that do like this product, I hope they’re right! I hate to see people paying such high prices on eBay for this stuff!!

  128. Hi Just googled and found your site, I too am a victim of this, after driving to many, many different local stores in my area, i started using something called alcon opti-free, but it is not anywhere as comfortable as AOSept. So, after going to the next town today and looking, I finially bought 2 bottles off amazon for the cost of $40 +$10 Shipping. I know the seller is taking advantage of the situation, but driving all over town isn’t very effective. Cibavision/Aosept is the only system that seems to work for me. The Alcon is okay, but my (disposable) contacts life cycle is drasticaly reduced.
    Same story here in WashingtonDC metro area, none of the pharmacists knew what is up, they suggested I call cybavision.

  129. Yes, this is all a conspiracy to drive up the price so that you will pay 3x price on eBay!!! The same thing is happening to gasoline because the MBA did not want to spend the money to build more refineries; let’s create a shortage and the price will go up and we will reap the profits! Rid the world of MBA’er …

  130. Am I the only one that finds it a bit odd that both CIBAVision and now Bausch & Lomb are having problems with their contact lens solutions? ClearCare disappears and AMO UltraCare is the next option (conveniently shelved next to the distressingly empty spot where ClearCare used to be). Then Renu MoistureLoc is recalled and AMO Moisture Plus happens to be shelved next to THAT empty spot. Perhaps Alcon is going to be the next victim?

    (just doing my part to increase the paranoia and fan the flames of conspiracy theorists…also, I have been in a rotten mood because of 6 weeks of burning eyes and no lasting alternatives)

  131. just wanted everyone to know that my AOSept is is fine and the experiation date is 2009. My eyes feel relieved and refreshed.

  132. Oh Thank God, (i posted on 3.31)
    I found it today at my local Kroger/ grocery store chain in Atlanta GA. I lost 2 contact lenses becuase of this foulup. My contacts can’t handle normal Daily wear cleaners.
    I may even lose a 3rd.

    Thank God its back.

    Robin

  133. As a result of A O sept not being able to be found, my eye doctor recommened I use Clear Care.
    It’s April28th and still no Clear Care Ciba Vision on shelves and I’ve checked Walgreens, Target, CVS, Eckerds’s, Wegmans, Rite Aid and numerous Wal-Mart stores in Upstate, NY. In the past 3 months I did manage to find one bottle of Clear Care which is now gone, any suggestions of what we should do in the meantime as the product is being produced ???
    Sincerely,

  134. Continued frustration here in Northern California as well… we’re about 24 hours away from the end of April, and still no signs of any CIBA products in the stores (AOSEPT, CLEAR CARE, MIRAFLO, etc.), and i’ve tried to follow-up on the leads given by others here (CVS, etc.) but when i head over to their sites, there aren’t any CIBA products listed…

    So we’ve got no product, and no info… and since nature abhors a vacuum, we fill in the missing spaces with rumor and frustration… and here’s my concern… when i head into the local Longs, there aren’t any blank spaces… they’ve filled in all the places where the CIBA products used to be… so what makes any of us think they’ll be able to get any shelf space once (if?) they start to ship product again…

    Plus, will you -trust- them to deliver a safe product if they were able to have a problem that shut down their -ENTIRE- chemical production capabilities? That’s the equivalent of a meltdown where everything got contaminated? They only had one ‘vat’ for everything, and it was cleaned improperly?

    Something doesn’t smell right here… I’ve worked in the mfg. industry for over 25 years, and any mistake that shuts down your entire operation for 6 months is -not- the result of simply cleaning one tank with the wrong cleaner…

    Anyone want to start a pool of when (ever) we’ll see product in the local stores?

    I’ll take August 28th

  135. Sunday, April 30, I went shopping here in Spring, Texas, for CIBA Clear Care No Rub (Spring is north Houston.) I went to my local Wal-Marts; nothing in stock. Then I tried my local Walgreens; nothing in stock but the disposable lens case. However, I next visited my local Kroger Signature Store. There, I found all CIBA products in stock, including the remaining four 12 oz. Clear Care No Rub packages. Naturally, when I left they were out of stock.

    The stock appeared to be brand-new with an expiration date of “2009-06.” The price was $8.99 each, with no discount given for my Kroger customer card.

  136. I found Clear Care yesterday here in MD. Yesterday, at Shoppers Food I found twin packs for $13.99. Today at another location I found single packs for $8.19. It is still not at Target or Walmart here. I also found a 3 pack box of 16 oz bottles of Ciba Softwear Saline at BJ’s for $6.99. They only had one and I was thrilled to get that.

  137. I’m in IL and cannot find any AOsept anywhere, still. I emailed customer relations at Ciba Vision and they replied that all products should be available mid-April. However, to please leave a 2 week period for shopping and stocking. Now May? Thankfully, I had an AOsept 2-pack, exp. date 2006-11, Lot 35504. Does anyone know if that was recalled?

  138. KM, I called Ciba Vision yesterday to ask them a few questions. They said we should have no trouble finding Aquify, AOSept and Clear Care starting two months after they resumed shipping. That would be the end of May first part of June. I would try looking at grocery stores for AOSept in your area and look first thing in the morning as that is usually when they are finishing stocking the shelves. Stores here are just starting to get the products on the shelves. When you do find it I would suggest getting a couple bottles extra to have on hand just in case you have a hard time finding it again.

    AOSept was never recalled. Only a batch of Aquify drops were ever actually recalled.

    Good luck and I hope you find som AOSept soon!

  139. So – has anyone seen fresh Clear Care in any store?

  140. Is it just me or is Clear Care identical to Aosept except it is alot cheaper & comes with a cup/disc? I have a theory on how Clear Care came to be. Does anyone remember a Walgreens generic Aosept about a year or year and a half ago? It wasn’t quite as good in my opinion, but was alot cheaper and included a disc/cup. I had been using it for a couple of months and went to restock one day and POOF – it was gone. In it’s place was new Ciba Clear Care (less expensive Aosept with cup/disc included). Did Ciba cut a deal with the FDA to provide a similar less expensive alternative in exchange for extended exclusivity on peroxide based cleaning solutions?

  141. I live in Alpharetta, GA. If you guys will fund my mission i’ll raid their headquarters in Duluth (just up the road) and see what stockpiles I can find.

    Seriously though, thanks to whoever is hosting this site. I too had no idea what was going on with the product until I found this site. I absolutely hate that I have no other lens solution options. I’d love to take my business elsewhere. Luckily my eye doctor stocks it and they are willing to give it to me until it’s readily available on shelves. I get angry at the eBAYers too but then I realize that price plays an important role when supply is limited. It helps prevent stockpiling and additional shortages. That’s my take on it at least. I just hope people aren’t buying all of it off shelves (cheaply) in my local stores and then selling it on eBay. THAT would piss me off.

  142. Its May – still no product on the shelves; was supposed to be there in April. And, when you talk to the pharmacists at CVS, Target and Osco they are clueless! Have no idea why the shelves are empty – had to call my eye doctor to find out that Ciba has had manufacturing problems.

  143. What a Keystone Cops parody! For the third time in two months, I call my eye doc to ask what I should use instead of the non-existent AOsept, as per CibaVision’s stupid suggestion. The first time, in February, he said to use Clear Care. I found ONE bottle in town. When that ran out, I asked again. He called around to pharmacies in town and said one place said they had it. Turns out the clerk THOUGHT they had it because they always used to, and she didn’t realize they didn’t any longer…shelves were bare.

    Eye doc said he’d “research” it. He called MORE pharmacies (like I hadn’t already combed the universe and knew none existed) and they told him it could be ordered and delivered in a day. When I called that pharmacy myself, someone else said, “Gee, you’re right….it can’t be ordered. CibaVision says it’s out of stock and they don’t know when they’ll have it.” And that was today, May 4.

    No one knows anything, no one can do anything, no one has any answers, ESPECIALLY CibaVision. I’m boycotting CibaVision with a nasty letter spelling out how much money I spent on their products over the last 15 years and am taking my business elsewhere for the sole reason that they LIED to us all and covered up something evil and they don’t even have the guts or the courtesy to inform anyone of anything for months on end. Damn them anyway.

  144. Boycotting Ciba isn’t going to hurt them at all. The only people that are going to be hurt by a boycott are the people who have used their products and switch to the inferior mps products. Not to be snarly, but we’ve all found out there is very little competition for Clear Care or AOSept. The one product that is close is Ultracare and that has been hard to find as well and posters don’t like it as much. The reality here is that no other company offers an alternative product. I’ve kept up on several boards about the Ciba shortage. The people that have used Clear Care are not happy with the mps products. For them it is Clear Care or no contacts.

    I’m ticked about the situation too. I’m lucky that I found out about the problem early in January. I’m a Quick Care user and that has been discontinued. I was able to find enough product to hold me until next month. I am very upset that they stopped making Quick Care. It offers clean, comfortatble lenses in a quick time. You don’t have to wait 6 hours to wear your contacts and no harsh chemicals. I think it is the perfect solution. I blame Ciba for not marketing the product well. I’m moving on to Clear Care next. ( I used AOSept prior to Quick Care ). Within the past two weeks Clear Care has appeared on the shelves again here. Just keep checking the stores in your area and go in the morning after the shelves are stocked. Grocery stores have been getting Clear Care here instead of drug stores, Target, WalMart or BJ’s.

    I’m convinced that the reason the products are hard to find is because of ebay. That and also users are probably stocking up when they find it.

  145. A friend of mine who I haven’t talked to in a couple years works at a chemical plant in Canada that manufactures a variety of chemicals for different companies including Cibavision. When I couldn’t find any Clear Care, I called and asked if he knew anything about what was going on and his response was that they had halted all production of the product back in December 2005, and seemed they weren’t going to another manufacturer for it either, saying “we will let you know when to make more.” They restarted poduction in April. Speculation was that their executives took an example from the power and oil industries and decided they could rake in huge profits by creating a shortage since they controlled the only peroxide based lens solution. It seems a lot of American companies are turning to this method of playing with supply and demand to increase their bottom line.

  146. I asked about solocare aqua in Canada. Got this response:

    “We are expecting this product to return to the retail market in late June 2006
    CIBA Vision Consultation”

    Something went terribly wrong here…

  147. ahh. Found some ClearCare @ an Albertsons near me in Boise. I was using AOSept, but right now, I won’t split hairs. The all-in-one that I was forced to use has had my eyes sore for a while.
    This morning my feel like they used to back before this “issue”.

    Hopefully this mess is behind us.

  148. Early last month (about April 6)I was able to get some Clear Care at Walmart in Manassas VA. THey had alot of bottles after having none for awhile. Figuring Ciba had fixed their problem, I bought only 2 bottles. This week I stopped by Walmart and there were NO MORE bottles nor a space for Clear Care. What’s up now, I wondered. I went to my local Giant Grocery store and they had 3 bottles, so I got 2. Now I have 3 in reserve and hope that Clear Care will return before I need anymore. If it wasn’t for this site I wouldn’t know what was going on. Last month Ciba has a notice stating that there was a production problem (I think that’s what they said, because I can’t find the notice anymore)

  149. CVS.com folks. I bought 6 bottles of Clear Care to spend enough to get free shipping, and got it less than a week. That should last me 6 months at which time the incompetent fools at CIBA may even have their act together. At least the ReNu folks owned up to their responsibility and had the decency to offer free product to those affected by their recall. It will be a miracle if Wal-mart and other major retailers put up with CIBA’s nonsense much longer and don’t throw them out on their pathetic butts. I guess we have to get mad since we really can’t get even. CVS.com, go for it.

  150. Thanks so much for providing this information. I ran out of Aosept a few weeks ago and was baffled by not finding it anywhere. I went to a Target today to look for my Aosept (the one where you use the disk) Storage Solution. I didn’t see anything so I asked the guy behind the counter. He showed me AMO Complete Moisture Plus Multi-Purpose Solution and said that was it (the “new version” or something like that. I looked at it reading the package and have a hard time believing this is my old stuff. Please help me out folks. What I am looking for now? Is this really it? Thanks for any help. I miss my old stuff!!!

  151. Cannot find Aosept anywhere in South Seattle. Had no idea what was going on, but figured something was up w/problems in a plant or something. Great site.

  152. Thank you all for posting your comments and recommendations. I had no idea there were so many people passionate about their contact lens cleaning solution. I followed a similar path of frustration and discovery–just took me longer than everyone else to admit defeat.

    Chris, thank you for the suggestion to order from CVS.com but I couldn’t find a single bottle of ClearCare available. 😦

    I too pressed my doctor for an interim alternative and she said she would recommend UltraCare except that a lot of ClearCare users were forgetting that the solution needs to turn pink. So instead she recommended AMO Complete Moisture Plus, however she told me to rub my contacts in despite the fact that the directions say you don’t need to.

    I sure hope this is resolved soon–what a waste of precious time having to deal with this issue.

  153. Thank you for this site. I have been looking for Clearcare for months. I just started wearing my contacts again in February. I suffer from really dry eyes and my eye doctor gave me their last trial size bottle of Clearcare. When I went to buy some, it was no where to be found. I searched EVERY where. So much wasted time and gas. I tried other products but nothing came close so I stopped wearing my contacts all together.

    Before a Vacation in Florida I saw 2 boxes of UltraCare at a local Walgreen’s. I was hesitant to purchase it since it was $12 a bottle and the pills that you have to put in once a week were $20 a box. So I slept on in and when I went back they were gone, should have known. I did end up finding some at Walgreen’s in Florida. (Bought all 3 boxes)
    I have been using it for a week seems to be working better then all the other replacements. I stopped in a local Target here in MN and there is was about 10 boxes of Clearcare. I had already spent almost 60 on the UltraCare but bought one anyways (under $7) I used it last night and right away I could feel the comfort. I haven’t had to use my eye drops every 2 hours like before. It has been 5 &1/2 hours with no drops and my eyes feel Great! I wish I would have bought more. Hopefully it turns up on more shelves. Good luck everyone!!

  154. Clear Care and AOSept are now available at most stores in my area.

  155. Just got a bottle of AOSept @Jewel in Vernon Hills IL. $9.10 a bottle was more than I wanted to pay, but I haven’t had any since December. I hope the price goes down.

  156. Well, at least now I’ve found a group of people who know what the hell is going on. My eye doctor’s office doesn’t, and neither do any of the drugstore people, including the pharmacy staff, anywhere in the Oakland/Berkeley area in No. California. Elephant Pharmacy in Berkeley at least told me they could special order Clear Care and that it MIGHT be here in 4 weeks. That’s more info that anyone else could provide!

    I will write to CIBA Vision too… just wish I could find AOSept and the stuff I used to use.

    sigh.
    Nancy

  157. I just found all you “kindred spirits.” Now I know I’m not crazy.

    I scoured stores for the last few days and found no AOSEPT Enzyme solution. I don’t like the “no rubs.” They’re not as efficient.

    I called CIBA’s toll free number and got no apology. This company needs a crash course in PR. At least they could have offered discounts on future purchase of the product.

    It’s all very strange. Perhaps the company has a death wish.

  158. I just found all you “kindred spirits.” Now I know I’m not crazy.

    I scoured stores for the last few days and found no AOSEPT Enzyme solution. I don’t like the “all in one” products. They’re not as efficient.

    I called CIBA’s toll free number and got no apology. This company needs a crash course in PR. At least they could have offered discounts on future purchase of the product.

    It’s all very strange. Perhaps the company has a death wish.

  159. Like most of you, I’m thrilled to have found this site to confirm 1) that the product IS disappearing — it’s not just me; and 2) that I’m not crazy for not wanting to switch product, even though I probably will after this fiasco, because I don’t like being screwed with.

    Because there are so many of them, I wasn’t able to read everyone’s comments so forgive me if I’m repeating. I also called CIBA (I live about 15 miles from their offices, in Georgia, and am tempted to pay them a visit), and go the stock, “The situation will be resolved asap” type of answer. Nobody in the stores can answer, but the UPC code tags for my products (AOSept) are removed.

    Most interestingly, I think, is the fact that my GENERIC enzyme tablets, at Kroger, are also off the shelf with the tags removed. I have used AOSept for disenfection and enzyme tabs (with pancreatic pork, not the other) for probably 25 years, too, and once tried to switch, but the other (no rub) products just GUM UP my lenses — -create- protein deposits, as far as I can tell, and shorten the life of my lenses (I keep ’em for 1 year) dramatically. It feels like a conspiracy to get us to switch to daily lenses, rather than the long-life, and to get us to buy the more expensive cleaning products.

    I know that sounds paranoid, but I cannot think of any other reasonable explanation for the lack of communication.

  160. I just got of a conversation with my wife “what a big drama” that I cannot find AOSEPT. I do feel better now realizing that IT IS a big drama… Anyway, in Knoxville, TN as of today 05/14 someone still cannot find the Salina Solution (Softwear). However I was able to find the AOSEPT. I guess I can use any other Salina solution. Any ideas by the way??
    I did not realize that this was a problem for the last months, since I was packed with a DIFFERENT product from CIBA I am sure most of you do not know, since it is distributed only in Europe, though manufactured in the U.S. By the way, this is by far the best product from CIBA – it is called the TITMUS H202 cleaning system – which you do not need to rub the lenses AND still provides much cleaner lenses without using a strong “detergent” like Miraflow, and simultaneously moisterizes them. The result is that it prolongs the life of the lenses at least 6 to 8 months comparing to any other CIBA system. Of course, I have contected CIBA in the past asking why the product is not available in the U.S. without any answer other than the type of …but you can still use this and this…I strongly recommend you guys ask for this product, just fot the heck of it. In the meanwhile I am still looking for a good Salina…
    Anyway

  161. I’m in the SF Bay Area and still not finding AOSept or Clear Care on shelves. I’ve had a stash of it since I unknowingly bought some from Costco just before it went off the shelves. Is there any word on when it will be back again?

    My eye doctor knew very little about the shortage, other than that people were unable to find the product. I’m also one of the people who is allergic to the preservatives in other products, so I’m getting very nervous about what is going on. I can’t imagine a brand as large as CIBA can just “go dark” with production and still retain customers. It’s disappointing, frustrating, and really very unprofessional of them as there are many of us depending on their product to clean our lenses. You’d think a public statement would be issued, but I’ve seen nothing.

    Thank you for posting this site and keeping us up to date.

  162. I saw Clearcare at the Safeway in the Marina in San Francisco this past weekend if any Northern Californians are still looking for it.

  163. Thanks for the info. I too have been looking for the Aquify contact solution without any explanation as to why I have not been able to find it. Thanks for being outraged enough to inform the rest of us.

  164. well, no Clear Care to be found in DC–i’ve gone to 6 different CVS stores and it looks like the eyecare aisle has been plundered by a bunch of pirates-it’s bare, there’s no bausch & lomb stuff,no ciba stuff, just a few bottles of alcon product.

    Called Ciba’s number and their message says that it says that the product should be available shortly–no option to actually speak with a human.

    Tried to order ClearCare from CVS.com, but their website says they won’t be shipping new product until June 9th…Finally got a trial bottle from my local optometrist, and ordered a big bottle online from Duane Reade, although I’m worried that actually they don’t have it in stock despite listing the product on their site (they have a high shipping cost too).

  165. oooh the relief. We drove all over fairfax last night, staring at the empty shelves (I should really take photos of the empty contact lens solution shelves, no Amo disinfectant, nothing!!) Finally we found a single bottle at a Giant..

    -l.

  166. ARRRGH! There is no Clear Care to be found anywhere in SE Virginia. Walmart doesn’t have it, Eckerd doesn’t have it- even the grocery stores don’t have it. My optomotrist gave me 2 4oz trial bottles and told me that if I was still having a hard time finding it to come see her. I did manage to get my husband to find 1 12 oz bottle of Clear Care at the Exchange on base (for once I’m glad he’s military)

  167. Woo-hoo!!! FINALLY found Clear Care in the Safeway and Target Denver stores.

  168. I TOO HAVE LOOKED FOR MONTHS FOR CLEAR CARE AND AM CONTINUING TO
    SEARCH IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA…NONE TO BE FOUND. THE REASON FOR THE DISAPPEARANCE SOUNDS A LITTLE FISHY…ARE WE SURE IT WAS A MANUFACTURING UPGRADE?

  169. As an optometrist, I would have to say that many companies are poor at communicating with not only the public, but with us primary health care providers. We are constantly barraged by the hype of new products (many of which are, in fact, improvements and worthy of consideration) but getting the news out about recalls or product problems is definately not as high a priority. With the recent recall of Bauch & Lomb ReNu products, I still have not heard directly from B&L. The American Optometric Association and other professional groups have been on the ball with e-mails, journal articles, and continuing education immediately warning us to discontinue recommending and distributing suspect solutions. Unfortunately, the optical industry is not as well organized as we would like and we are slow to get the word on the issues you have discussed.
    I’d caution against e-bay purchases of solution. Like golf clubs and cheap DVDs, contact lenses and solutions are being counterfeited and it’s good to know the source of anything you put in you eyes. I’m not sure how many people would buy their heart meds on an auction site.
    I’m glad that a number of you have asked for help from your local optometrist in finding out about the solution questions. Please remember that help before you order your next box of lenses from 1-800-Contacts.
    Take Care.

  170. our long national nightmare is over (well, one of them…)… Target (Northern California) had many many boxes on the shelf (and i ran into another ‘horder who was buying 3 boxes)…

    now where’s my Miraflow?

    ?;^)

  171. Found AOSept in Walmart today in southeastern Virginia. There were quite a few bottles all the way in the back of the shelf though at first glance the shelf appeared empty. Bought one as I still have a stash of Clear Care. Let’s hope that this is the beginning of more to come. In the meantime, I bought myself a lovely new pair of eyeglasses, first time since 2001.

  172. Don’t be too quick to declare the nightmare over… It still doesn’t appear to be available in Montana. I’ve tried Target, WalMart, and Safeway in Bozeman, MT with no luck, based on your notes above. I may have to resort to the eBay source…

    Thanks to all for the contributions of information. I too am quite unimpressed with the lack of communication from Ciba Vision. Unfortunately, I have sensitivities to most other products…

  173. Still no Clear Care available anywhere in Oklahoma. I also talked to AmeriSource Bergen, a major buying group for pharmacies, & they do not have any in their warehouse to ship out to their member pharmacies & no eta. About 2 weeks ago I e-mailed Ciba Vision & got the answer that as of March 22 they started shipping out product however I find it extremely hard to believe that 2 months later it still hasn’t made it to the shelves of my local store. I really don’t see how companies would stay in business if the supply chain takes that damn long to get to the consumers.

  174. I found AoSept at Wal-Mart in early May, but still no Clear Care. I have been using the Opti-Free Replenish without issue (right in the AoCup).

    My concern was with the saline, since nearly everything else burns my eyes. I have started using the Lens Plus saline again (which I used many years ago), and, in fact, Wal-Mart’s generic version, and have had no issues. It is MUCH cheaper than Ciba’s Saline, for those of you looking for a permanent or temporary replacement for Ciba Saline. The only downside is that it is an aerosol can.

  175. sorry folks are still having trouble finding the product… i’m sure the pipeline is filling, just based on the fact that it does seem to be showing up in stores where its been missing for months… but just fyi, it appears to be available for pre-order (both clear care and aosept) at the walgreens.com site

    cheers

  176. I only had time to read a few comments, and so forgive me if I’m repeating something someone already has posted….

    In asking my eye doctor about the shortage he said that he “corned” a rep and the rep said they only make the Clear Care at one facility and an employee used unsterile something or other (pardon my lack of equipment expertise) on the equipment so they had to completely shut down the machine and resteralize the equipment…that’s where this shortage is coming from….not an upgrade. Although they do need to upgrade their handling of this type of problem.

    I am also very frustrated by the lack of information as to why we couldn’t find our products.

    I’m allergice to other products so I sit here with my glasses and > until I can find my product again.

  177. Okay, it’s late May and I’m still not able to find anyting on the shelves. I was at Walgreens yesterday, and Target today. Nothing. I called the company today and heard a pre-recordered message saying that “Congradulations. The product is now shipping to CVS, Walgreens…” I can’t find anything.

  178. Finally found Clear Care at Target in Manhattan Beach today. They had AOsept too.

    I used AMO’s UltraCare for the last few months. It worked ok. I’m not a fan of the pink solution once it’s neutralized though.

    Does anyone know if Miraflow is gone for good? Ciba doesn’t list it as a product anymore, but they don’t list AOsept either and they still sell it. I still use a daily cleaner even though you aren’t supposed to need one with Clear Care. My contacts didn’t feel as good with Clear Care alone as they used to with the AOsept and Miraflow combination. I’ve been using a Bausch and Lomb cleaner, but that’s been hard to find lately too.

    I saw a new statement on the Ciba website today too. http://www.us.cibavision.com/lens_care/lens_care_update.shtml

  179. Hi, today i discovered this blog and finaly I don’t feel alone in the world! I use Ciba Vision’s TITMUS H2O2 system for 13 years and it ‘s the only solution that doesn’t irritate my eyes. I think I am a little minority here as i am from a small country too far from US and Canada but this doesn’t mean that I haven’t got the same problem as you all. At list I find out, from your messages before, what is going on with this mystery of solutions shortage.
    Yes TITMOUS is by far the best product of Ciba (Panos, by the way are you Greek?), now i know that is distributed only in Europe, but even here we can’t find it . AOSEPT also is in shortage, but i dont know Clear Care Solution here.

    Sorry for my bad english…. Thank you for posting this site ………. Best regards,
    Vicky

  180. Here was a list of stores they told me that AOSept/ClearCare is currently shipping to. I think people are still hoarding that stuff because I can’t find it anywhere:

    Albertsons, Bergen Brunswick, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Fred Meyer, H.E. Butt,  Kinney Drugs, Meijer, Wegmans,  Duane Reade, Harmon Stores, Maxi Drugs, Meijer,  Roundy’s, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Target and , CVS, and Rite Aid. Kroger, Brooks/Eckerd and Safeway,  Harris-Teeter, K-Mart, Publix, Peytons, Marsh Supermarkets, Shopko , Weis Markets, Wegmans, Supervalue and Winn Dixie.  

    We  started shipping March  22, 2006, to their  distribution centers for allocation to their  locations.  Once it reaches their distribution center they tell us the turn around is 7 to 14 days to get it out to the stores.   We are continually shipping to these centers and we hope that they can get it into the stores in a timely fashion. We do not have a schedule of the stores are distribution times as we do not deliver to the stores themselves, just to their warehouses.

  181. Okay is it off the shelves again? I found it in late april 27th at my grocery store. And then when I went back on Thursday (May 25th, 2006) it was gone. No luck at Walmart or another location of the same grocery chain that normally carries in ATLANTA.
    What is up? That Fresh OptiExpress stuff I bought was terrible, it was just like Renu, my eyes were hurting by 2pm and I went through 2 pairs in one month where normally my pairs last 3-4 months (i also use a weekly enzymatic tablet).

    HELP in Atlanta, what is the story Leroy?

    Robin

  182. Clear Care and Aospet products have been off the shelves for months in my corner of the woods, North Seattle. I’ve been checking off and on with our local Target store as my eye care practitioner told me that they were supposed to be some of the first stores re-stocked with Clear Care. As of two weeks ago, my local Target store shelves were bare, although the pharmacist who does the ordering offered this, they received 8 bottles in early April and they sold out in an hour. They’ve received no other bottles since then.

    Last week I realized I needed to go further afield in my search as I was getting dangerously low with the one bottle of Aosept I had left. (When this whole Clear Care scarcity affair started for me back in February, after scouring every discount and grocery store within a 10 mile radius of where I live, I found 2 bottles of Aosept and 1 bottle of Miraflow and have been working off those rations for the past few months)

    Last week, almost out of Aospet and tired of waiting for Clear Care, I went into Walgreens to purchase AOM Complete, an alternative recommended by my eye care practitioner. I started browsing through the various contact solution products when I noticed a double pack of Clear Care sitting on the shelf! I pulled it off the shelf and there was still one more behind. After a moment of hesitation I decided to buy them both, not sure how long the lack of supply would continue. If supplies don’t return to normal rates after my 4 bottles are up I am going to need to find another eye care product. This whole experience has been totally frustrating. I wish I was not so tied to the Clear Care, but the product has worked better for me then anything else I have tried.

  183. Just got this from Cibavision re my MiraFlow question submitted to the US web site — I guess it’s good news, to the extent that they’re saying it’s NOT going to be discontinued, but… I can’t say I’m happy about the way this was handled. Saying that availability “may be limited” when it hasnt been on the shelves for months, and vendors are all saying it’s been discontinued isnt exactly a straightforward reply! I also wonder whether the drugstores will restock this product after they havent had it for 9 months…. I can see a scenario developing where CibaVision finally begins producing it again, but no one is carrying it any more, because they’ve found alt. products for their limited shelf space. All in all, this has been a very frustrating ride. Better stop typing now… my lenses are clouding up!!!

    Here’s the ‘official’ word:

    Hi Donna,

    Thank you for your e-mail. We would like to sincerely apologize for any
    inconvenience you may have experienced in locating the MiraFlow Daily
    Cleaner. Due to a manufacturing upgrade of our manufacturing site,
    supplies of MiraFlow may be limited on retail shelves. Miraflow
    will be available again in September.

    We would recommend contacting your eye care professional to determine
    which daily cleaner would be best suited for your particular needs and
    lenses in the interim. Again, we would like to greatly apologize for any
    inconvenience this may cause. Thank you again for contacting CIBA
    Vision.

    Kind regards,
    CIBA Vision Consultation Services

  184. Got their email today, May 31, 2006 @ 8AM PST (California)

    Hi Bruce,

    Thank you again for contacting CIBA Vision. This is the latest list of retailers to carry CLEAR CARE. Due to a manufacturing facility upgrade, it has put us in a backorder situation. The upgrade took longer than anticipated.

    Albertsons, Bergen Brunswick, CVS, Drugs Store.com, Duane Reade Corp., Fred Meyer, H.E. Butt Grocery, Harmon Stores, Harris Teeter, Inc, HY Vee Food Stores, Imperial Distributors, Kinney Drug Companyu, K-Mart, Kroger,Marsh Supermarkets, Maxi Drugs,McKesson, Meijer, Inc, Progressive Distributors, Pulix Supermarkets, Raleys Supermarkets, Rite Aid, Roundy’s, Safewaty, Shopko, Sparten Stores, Supervalue, Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Wegmans, Weis Markets, and Winn Dixie. We started shipping March 22, 2006, to their distribution centers for allocation to their locations. Once it reaches their distribution center they tell us the turn around is 7 to 14 days to get it out to the stores. We are continually shipping to these centers and we hope that they can get it into the stores in a timely fashion. We do not have a schedule of the stores are distribution times as we do not deliver to the stores themselves, just to their warehouses. Softwear Saline will be available again in September.
    Please ask your eye care professional what he or she would recommend in the interim.
    Again thank you for contacting CIBA Vision.

    Kind regards,
    CIBA Vision Consultation

  185. In the Portland, OR area I have now been able to find Clear Care. I have become a horder and each shopping trip, every two weeks I pick up at least two bottles. Interestingly, on my last trip the Target brand saline solution was scarse, only four bottles, so I took them too. I hate continuing to buy from a company that has no ethics, but unfortunately, the product itself is good. I will not be caught short again.

  186. […] UPDATE: A kind reader named Jessica just left a comment on this post and on this post which I will cut and paste some of for your information. It reads: Hi Jessica, Thank you for contacting CIBA Vision. We always appreciate hearing from our consumers' with their concerns and comments. Due to a manufacturing upgrade our products are on backorder. AO Sept will be available the second week of April and Clear Care will be back on the shelves at Wal-Mart, Target, CVS and Walgreens the first week of April. Please ask you eye care professional what you can use in the interim.We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused. Again, thank you for contacting CIBA Vision. […]

  187. Hey, Thanks for posting your thoughts on Clear Care… I was starting to get worried it had been recalled and I would be blind soon. This is the only site on google that has a clear answer to my recall or no recall problem.

  188. For the first time since late February, the shelf was full of Clear Care at my local Wal-Mart in NE Ohio. Hopefully the supply is back (because I only bought one twin-pack!).

  189. I am really missing Miraflow! I found Aosept and Ciba Saline on the shelves here in Maine but no Miraflow! I read the comment by the doctor warning of copies being sold on Ebay and the the price is skyrocketing!!! Any suggestions of a substitute? Are there any preservative free daily cleaners being sold. I have contacts that are so uncomfortable now sticking to my eyes… ouch!!! I think Ciba should try harder to get it back on the shelves fast. There is obviously a loyal patronage for their products and it would be their loss if we all find something we like better!

  190. FINALLY – I found a shelf full of both Clear Care and Aquify at my local Wal-Mart! Only 2 months & 2 weeks after Ciba said they started shipping it out to distribution centers. If I didn’t like the solution so much & have so many problems with other solutions I would stop buying it.

  191. OOPS forgot to mention I am in the Tulsa, OK area.

  192. As of June 6, there was none to be found in Hawaii.

    I started looking about a week ago and went to so many stores that I lost count. No one has it in stock.

    Talk about a nightmare scenario for a company. How could they make such a huge oversight? I think this gives very good insight into how this company is run and how they feel about their customers. Did they actually plan to have a shortage of a product while expanding facilities?

  193. we’re still dry here in seattle. i have been checking all my local stores frequently. i glad to know that i’m not the only one who has been living in optical discomfort for the past 8 months!

  194. Found Clearcare at Target in Atlanta in late may. Still no Softwear Saline to be found though.

  195. No aosept in the Metropolitan New York area still! I’ve been looking in my local drugstores and supermarkets in New York City and in New Jersey where my mother lives. As an aosept user for slmost 20 years, I’m so angry with the company that if I could find a suitable alternative I would certainly change.

  196. Found Clear Care at a CVS in Leominster MA.

    This is the second time since (and including) April 1st that I have seen Clear Care in stock somewhere in my area.

  197. Just heard from CIBA re. MiraFlow. At the end of May they said MiraFlow would be available in Sept. Now they’re saying November! Who wants to bet on next year???

  198. Hi all,

    just wanted to let you know that my doctor told me that they had an accident at their facility and had to destroy all their lens care solutions, because they were diluted.

    “Upgrading our facilities” is another way to put this…

  199. “Just heard from CIBA re. MiraFlow. At the end of May they said MiraFlow would be available in Sept. Now they’re saying November! Who wants to bet on next year???”

    They have no rush to ship the Aosept disinfectant if Miraflow will be MIA until November. I cannot imagine CIBA telling us to use another brand’s cleanser with CIba’s Aosept disinfectant. My guess is that Ciba wants everyone to switch to ClearCare which doesn’t need a cleanser and Aosept will vanish.

  200. We’re still totally dry here in western New York. I started to panic about this back in February. Eventually I found a place online that still had Aosept disinfectant, and I bought 10 bottles; I’m about halfway through that supply now. Soon I’ll be out of Miravision, too. I also can’t find the Ciba Vision saline solution; after going through several alternate brands that all irritated my eyes, I settled on a Bausch & Lomb. What boggles my mind is that the local Walmart still sells the cup and disk, but no other Ciba Vision products. Nobody in the stores has any clue as to what’s going on, why, or when it will be fixed. My eye doctor has no clue.

    Can anyone track down a phone number or e-mail address for some bigwig at Ciba Vision? Clearly just calling the customer service line is useless. I think it’s time for the Furious Majority (us) to start getting familiar with the top brass.

  201. Going by the typical format for cibavision.com email addresses floating around the net, these may work (I haven’t tried them). Novartis seems to use the same format firstname.lastname@novartis.com, so you could also try sending to their related execs too…

    Michael Kehoe – Chief Executive Officer
    Michael.Kehoe@cibavision.com

    Mike Dilworth – Head of Global Supply Chain
    Mike.Dilworth@cibavision.com

    Karen Gough – President of Americas Region
    Karen.Gough@cibavision.com

  202. I phoned CibaVision yesterday because I couldn’t find the promised Softwear Solution which one needs to use in conjunction with AoSept. Here’s what I was told by a well-informed representative. I was still in tears afterwards.

    Aosept is back on the shelves, and, yes, I did find some here in NYC.
    Softwear Saline Solution which had been promised for early June will not be back until January 2007 As an alternative, I was told to use either of the following. I must check with the doctor firts. LensPlus by AMO or Unisol #4 by Alco, both preservative-free.
    Furthermore, Ciba is discontinuing its Lens Drop, and I was told to use Aquify lens drops instead. Couldn’t find those.
    In addition, Mira Flow will not be back until January 2007.
    I asked, no, I begged for samples, willing to pay $$$ for them, to no avail.
    At this point, I will make an appointment with my doctor and see if I am a candidate for disposible contact lenses. Having had multiple eye surgeries, I wear one aphakic c.lens in one eye only and this turn of events is a mini-tragedy for me.
    I have asked several friends, colleagues, family member around the USA to be on the lookout, but, I feel, as an uninformed (by Ciba) consumer, I should not have to go through all this drama.

  203. CVS.com should be able to get you through until it’s back in stock locally. At least the people at ReNu have the decency to be offering free product after their problems. These clueless morons at CIBA won’t even give straight answers. Let’s all hope that a competitor to Clear Care will come in and kick their sorry asses…

  204. It’s no wonder most of us can’t find it. Almost everyone on this post who found it bought everything on the store shelf. Bunch of whiney asses complaning and as soon as they find it they buy all 10 bottles and complain some more.Save some for the rest of us and maybe we’ll all be able to find it.

  205. Hey whiney, it has nothing to do with someone buying 10 bottles. When we need the solution, we go to the store and it is not there, end of story.

  206. More bad news! Here’s a warning from Health Canada where CibaVision is made. Last Friday, Cibavision told me to use Aquify eye drops to replace their discontinued product. Now this! I give up!
    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/2005/2005_127_e.html

  207. Dear Luke:

    My name is Kenia and I am from Costa Rica. I am very worry about this situation with Ciba Vision. I don´t know what to think and what to do, for this case. My teory is this: maybe they find something really wrong in their plant, and they decided close. A friend make me this question: Do you think this is relationed with a Fusarium infection too???? At least ReNu Moistureloc give an explanation.

  208. This magnitude of a PR fumble is unthinkable given the avenues of communication open to CIBA. I’ve been using Opti-free for the past 6 months and am inclined to stay with a more substantial manufacturer who will at least knows how to use the internet and a homepage to communicate to customers that use their product every day. I suppose the company figured they would lay low while they sorted out their problems and customers wouldn’t be the wiser (despite no product on the shelf). I suggest firing some PR ‘professionals’ at the company. For the rest of us, looking for a more forthright and reputable manufacturer is suggested.

  209. Like the rest of us here I have depended on a specific CIBA product (Quick Care) for years. I am extremely sensitive to preservatives and given that I wear two contacts in each eye I cannot afford to change solution everyday (one soft lens and one rigid). I recently found shelves missing the solution I have used for years and simply thought they were back ordered. My doctor was clueless and so was everyone at the numerous stores I visited frantically. I am struggling to fill this ovid but think its ludicrous that I find out today, only by reading these posts and calling the company that the quick care solution was discontinued in Jan 2006. How about putting some inserts in the box to give me ample time to switch versus now leaving me unable to work while I test out other solutions and have my eyes burn all day long. Thank you CIBA for caring about your consumers. It’s ridculous that not even the health care professionals that distribute the products know whats going on. Are web posts that hard to create? To the rest of you I feel your frustration and hopefully you all find viable solutions with companies that care. If anyone in Ontario Canada has a solution for me I’d really appreciate the suggestions.

  210. Okay…I thought it was just me. I ran out of my solution and for the past couple of months I have been scouring high and low for the lens solution that I normally use from Ciba vision…to NO avail. I too thought they had pulled it from the shelves and since my eyes haven’t been the same since I ran out I was starting to panic. Was the solution causing problems w/ people’s eyes?? I had no info…and no contact lens solution. I’ve spent money on 3 different solutions so far and nothing seems to be working. I’m not rich and don’t have money to waste keep trying EVERY solution out there to see if it might work. I live in Boston, MA…a pretty big city. If it’s available you’d think we would have it SOMEWHERE. I love the list they give of companies NOW carrying their products again…let me tell you, I’ve looked at Albertson’s, Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, AND Kmart stores and there is NOTHING. I hate that they are the only company that makes the kind of solution that I need. It’s not like their company isn’t big enough to have a sufficient customer service or advertising budget to work with. They should of at LEAST paid for a commercial to let their customers…the people who BUY their products and keep them in business…know what was going on. If anyone has found any good alternatives, please let me know. I’m tired of not being able to make it through a full day wearing my contacts.

  211. Does anyone know if it OK to use CibaVision’s Miraflow after the expiration date? Mine expired 12/2005 and since it is no longer available????I know the standard answer is no but is it really a problem?

  212. I’m outraged at the disappearance of the Aosept products as well. What happened?? For 20yrs I’ve was able to walk into any CVS and grap a bottle of AoSept, Saline Solution and Disposable Disc and be on my way. Now it’s a challenge to even get a simple bottle of Saline that isn’t also used as a multi-purpose solution. I think it is horrible that at the the Pharmacy EE’s have not been made aware of the product issues and/or back orders so that they can inform their customers, especially their loyal Ciba Vision customers.
    I had sent an email to CibaVision about 2months ago and was assured all products should be found on the local store shelves by APril-May. No such luck. No matter where I look, I’m having to end up with some random Multi-Purpose Solution that I’m leary of.

    Is anyone from Mass? I live on the north shore and would love to know which local store has the Aosept Solution and Disc. I need help in finding a store?? I’d also like to know which comprable products everyone’s been using in the meantime.

  213. Robin:

    If it is unopened and sealed, I’d probably use it. But your milage may vary and I offer no warrenties. Most drug expirations don’t mean what you think they do. 🙂

    Melissa:

    I am in Mass and have seen the Aosept disks in most stores. The solution I rarely see, however.

    I have been seeing Clear Care more and more recently (mostly in CVS, WalMart and Target). You might want to try it if you can find it (I’ve seen it much more than Aosept). Clear Care is basically the same thing as Aosept except you don’t need Miraflow.

    CVS.com and Walgreens.com seem to be a good bet for finding Clear Care also.

  214. I need Miraflow, and have not been able to find it in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area for the last 8 months. I sent Ciba Vision an e-mail in January and received a response saying that Miraflow would be again available in the first half of 2006. Well, it is still not in the stores. Other products just don’t clean my contacts as good as Miraflow.
    I am so glad this message board is on the web as I see that this is a nation-wide problem. I can’t believe that Ciba Vision hasn’t rushed their products back to the shelves, with this many loyal customers.

  215. MY OPTOMITRIST SAID THAT PLIAGEL IS ALMOST THE SAME AS MIRAFLOW AND I FOUND IT IN GOOD SUPPLY AT WAL-MART IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA…HAVN’T FOUND A SINGLE BOTTLE OF AOSEPT AND DON’T HAVE A E-MAIL FOR CIBA THAT THEY WILL REPLY TO..CAN ANYONE HELP?

  216. Hooray!~ I found AoSept today at a local Duane Reade and also saw it at CVS; bought 3 bottles and left the others behind since I think this might be the beginning or the return. Still can’t find MiraFlow.

  217. I found 2 bottles of AEOSEPT, bet can”t find Miraflow anywhere. Got it at Rite Aid in Greenpoint,Brooklyn. I tried Renu in the interim, and it absolutely wasn”t as good, Meanwhile I rinse with saline before and after.

  218. It’s August 17 and I am still unable to find my CIBA Vision products on any shelf in the Olympia, WA area. At this point, I am actively looking for alternatives.

    Has anyone tried the AMO saline? Does anyone know of a good H2O2 product to replace AOSEPT? How about MiraFlow? MiraFlow is the best cleaner and I am down to my last drops. Can anyone recommend a good replacement for the cleaner, the saline and the H2O2.

    I am in agreement with EVERYONE – we were left hanging, even if the company shut production down for very impeccable reasons, they should have contracted with another company for temporary product – that would have given everyone product in the meantime and really saved face.

    I am so angry about CIBA Vision’s poor performance, I would rather switch than fight or wait a week longer.

  219. I decided to do a quick search online to see what had happened to my saline, and found your site. My optometrist here in Norway told me earlier this year that Ciba had a production shutdown due to contamination, and that it would be off the shelves for a while. She offered me another type in lieu, which worked fine. All of a sudden, two weeks ago, that one’s also gone, and I’m like: What? Why? Then she procedes to tell me that a lot of the producers have decided to quit making saline, as they’re not making enough money on it. I had to buy Bausch & Lombs sensitive eye stuff instead, and it stings my eyes badly. So I go online to find Ciba and tell them off (if they had decided to quit production as well), and find out on their site about the back orders etc. That was not there before summer!

    Granted, Ciba could have informed us as consumers, but clearly, my optometrist had been informed, and passed the information on to me. If there was indeed a contamination problem, Ciba didn’t exactly have much of a chance to stock up before a shutdown, and probably relied on retailers to inform the consumers. I won’t hold it against them, I’ll just make sure I have a little stockpile of my own – once it’s back on the shelves here. And that had better be quick, cause I worry about the stingy stuff (only option available…). I realise they are prioritising AoSept, but EasySept is just like it, readily available, and cheaper!

  220. OMG. . .today is the BEST day. I just happened to be in Wal-Mart in San Diego and by some miracle there were TWO bottles of MiraFlow on the shelf. I grabbed them both and hoarded them right away. And then to make things even better when I went to check out, they both rung up at $1.50 EACH. AND they’re not even expired. It’s ridiculous that this little thing brings me so much joy, but like everyone else on this forum, I’ve found the MiraFlow is the ONLY cleaser out there that results in comfortable lenses for me. Not only that but Wal-Mart was also STOCKED with Clear Care. I think Clear Care is less of a shortage than MiraFlow though. None the less, I grabbed two bottles. I very sincerely hopes CibaVision holds true to their promise and releases the improved formula soon.

  221. Nice site to vent – I wish we can all sue Ciba for failing to run a company properly. GRRR. Cannot find saline or miraflow. Tried clearcare – not good enough – “no rub” my ass. My eyes cannot take it – they get tired by mid day. I scoured the internet for days looking – no luck. I have been out of saline & miraflow since mid august. I have a problem paying $100.00 for one F@#$%% bottle of miraflow on ebay. GRRRR I think ciba employees are selling their products on ebay to make a 10000000% profit and retire. If I new that would happened, I would have bought the entire stock in the stores and make my living selling this now. I would be rich becuase they are paying for it on ebay.

    vent, vent, vent – I hate them all. Ciba mfg upgrade since january, still cannot stock the shelves and it is almost October. WTF are they making to keep them in business!!! Sure glad I don’t have stock in them if they are a public traded company.

    I feel better now, sitting hear in my glasses because my contacts gave me tired eyes.

    Another vent, ciba says the market is favoring disposable lenses – yeah, sorry me I have a toric that costs $400.00 – not going to throw those out – they don’t make toric disposables anyhow.

  222. okay everyone here`s my question…..is “quick care” the same as “clear care” cause it`s “quick care” (and “miraflow” which is the same thing according to my eye doctor)that i`ve been using for the last 5 years or so….and i went thru everything that everyone else did on this website looking fr it,etc. etc. when i called Ciba vision ,about a month ago (august) the most un helpful women in “customer service” told me “quick care” is pulled forever,and there is no alternative `cept to change to that horrid system i used to use with the disc and the 6 hour wait for disinfection. so as anyone heard of “quick care”???? it came witha fresh lens case,a small bottle of cleaner(same as miraflow) and a large bottle of rinse (saline) it was a kit……

  223. Hello Hilary & all,
    Yes, I know of Quick Care…the 5-minute system with the small bottle of cleanser and the larger bottle of saline just as you mentioned. I used to use it all the time and loved it! I have very sensitive eyes, and Quick Care was the only thing that really worked for me. It definitely cleaned my lenses wonderfully. I have not been able to find it for probably close to 9 months or so, and I don’t know of anything comparable to it. So my eye doctor recommended Clear Care which is not at all like Quick Care…it uses peroxide with a disc and cup. Didn’t like that at first, but now I like it a lot, but of course, I can’t find THAT anywhere now. I tried Aquify multipurpose solution and thought my eyes were going to sizzle out of my head! TERRIBLE product for people with sensitive eyes! Hopefully the Clear Care will get back on the shelves soon or else I don’t know what I’ll do! Let me know if there’s any alternative to Clear Care.

    • 3 years later: I am trying to somehow find Quickcare finishing solution….it’s the thing that worked best for me, I lost my glasses and realized nothing works like that, but I know it was pulled from shelves years ago. Anyplace to get it, or any GOOD alternative? Rich

  224. Sarah…thank you for your response..i`m glad you`ve heard of my system..it was the best,,,i`m having a really hard time dealing with the fact that it`s gone……..

  225. I am having difficulty finding Miraflow contact cleaner or any other Ciba product. HELP! I have finally located an AMO product to clean my contacts. I am concerned that the lack of Ciba vision on the market is an FDA problem. Can you tell me what IS the problem? It is truly an annoying, time consuming, gasssssss guzzling, irritating problem to go on the hunt for contact cleaning products.

  226. I am having difficulty finding Miraflow contact cleaner or any other Ciba product. HELP! I have finally located an AMO product to clean my contacts. I am concerned that the lack of Ciba Vision product on the market is an FDA problem. Can you tell me what IS the problem? It is truly an annoying, time consuming, gasssssss guzzling and an irritating problem to go on the hunt for contact cleaning products. The weird thing is that there is very little choice from other companies as well. Paleeze

  227. Hi Everybody Glad to meet you all here. i am holding a website called http://www.americarx.com online pharmacy where you can find most of the Recall products, some of the to be Discontinued products and may be already a Discontinued product subject to availability in stock. My point is if you notify here everybody which product is going out of shelves in major retails will be available in small stores like us. That is the reason we able to supply and service our AO Sept disinfeactant solution – 8 OZ upto april 2006 even though other stores out of stock. I am still having AO Sept disinfeactant solution – 12 oz in stock may be of help to you. Now i will regularly follow this blog and try to stock those items you are saying unavailable thru my sales & Marketing channels. I am happy that my retail site serving this kind of hard to find brands. Thank You all. PLese visit this link and find all CIBA VISION products that i carry with me http://www.americarx.com/index.asp?PageAction=PRODSEARCH&txtSearch=ciba+vision&btnSearch=GO&Page=1 and also some other products in eye care.

  228. Its January 2007. Any Miraflow available for purchase?

  229. No Miraflow to be found in Greenville, South Carolina. The pharmacist at Eckerd’s said it wasn’t even in their product system anymore…. Anyone know of alternatives??

  230. Fortunately Miraflow lasts a long time for me, unfortunately I’m out now. I’ve looked at many local retailers that used to carry it in the Pittsburgh PA area. A posting to Ciba’s website got a somewhat terse response that it would only be carried through eye care professionals. A call to my eye care prof. got a less than enthusiastic response. His office indicated that maybe I should look elsewhere since they likely will not carry Miraflow. When I get home and have access to the email from Ciba, I will post the exact verbiage. I haven’t read through all responses here, but it seems that the story from Ciba is changing. Being the paranoid type, I speculate that maybe it can be used in illicit drug manufacture – so it’s being moved “behind the counter” like many cold medications. Makes me think of the “Sponge-worthy” episode of Seinfeld.

  231. Here is the latest operative truth on Miraflow:

    Thank you for contacting CIBA Vision Corporation. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced in locating our MiraFlow® Extra-Strength Daily Cleaner.

    We are pleased to announce as of November 16th, MiraFlow is now available; however, due to market demand, the product will be available for purchase through the eye care professionals only and not in retail stores at this time. Eye care professionals will be able to order the MiraFlow direct from CIBA Vision Customer Service or through his/her authorized distributor for CIBA Vision products. As not all eye care locations may be aware of this recent availability, we recommend contacting your eye care professional and asking them to order the MiraFlow Extra-Strength Daily Cleaner for you.

    In addition, our records show that the following eye care professionals in Pennsylvania have recently placed an order for MiraFlow.

  232. On a lark, I decided to look up Ciba Vision recalls since our office (which fits and dispenses contact lenses) has been having a lot of problems dealing with Ciba Vision. Here’s a few comments about what’s being said here:

    1 – Clear Care SNAFFU: I was told, finally, by a customer service rep I had built up a good relationship with, that Clear Care, AoSept, Mira Flow, their saline, etc. *all* had their production stopped for a time because someone had greased a machine in the “clean room” (ie: completely sterile room) with a non-sterile grease. This effectively causes the sterile room to be rendered non-sterile. EVERYTHING in that room must be re-sterilized, a process taking approximately three to four months. Since *all* solutions being manufactured must go through that room at some point, all of their solutions were off the market for a bit. Apparently, this error occurred between batches and was discovered before the “contaminated” batch was shipped out and was destroyed. But that means Ciba had no solutions warehoused to fill demand while the problem was being corrected.

    The rep further said that WalMart’s communication with its individual stores was lacking as supposedly Ciba let everyone know what was happening and that the solution was going to come back. Yet, all the stores mentioned above were somehow confused about the situation. A management communication problem? With *all* those store’s corporate structures? Not likely! It’s Ciba that’s likely at fault.

    2 – Mira Flow issue: I had been getting a lot of complaints from patients about the poor availability of Mira Flow, and I had called Ciba and was reassured that Mira Flow was still available. However, four weeks ago I received a notice, out of the blue, that Mira Flow was now available *only* to practitioners! Nice of them to mention that when I called, eh? I promptly ordered the stuff because so many of our patients benefit from it: we live in a very dry climate and a lot of our patients are older and have tear film/deposit problems.

    My best guess on this one is that Ciba took last year’s solution snaffu as an opportunity to restructure distribution of products that aren’t used as much. In general, the entire lens market has moved toward *less* cleaning of lenses and more frequent replacement. Those who replace their lenses every two to four weeks are less likely to need vigorous cleaning to maintain lens comfort. However, the reality is there will always be people who need a product like Mira Flow; therefore, no more keeping it on store shelves!

    3 – Just got this today (via a professional contact lens e-newsletter I receive, not the company!): There is now a recall on O2Optix lenses by Ciba Vision. Apparently there were 7 complaints registered (users felt “discomfort”). An investigation revealed there was a manufacturing problem which would make “some” lenses feel uncomfortable. While there is little risk of serious ocular complications (other than discomfort), the company is voluntarily recalling the lens.

    What does this mean to consumers? I’m not sure since I have yet to receive my “recall packet” from Ciba Vision. When I called Ciba’s “customer service”, basically I was told that I would have to wait to ask any questions til after I received my packet! Supposedly they were mailed out at the “beginning of the week” (the service person would not be any more specific than that), but it’s Friday and I haven’t received anything yet.

    What I did find out is that there is a serious back-order on the lenses (although the problem “has already been rectified”) to the point that the company cannot give a release date. A release date is a general idea of when a lens will become available again. Since all lenses produced between September and December 2006 had to be destroyed, this means there are no lenses warehoused to meet demand. As of today, one patient needs to be refitted and another is returning to her previous lens.

    So, overall I agree that Ciba has been less than helpful with keeping customers notified of problems: practitioners, patients, and distributors of their products. In fact, I’m pretty pissed off at them right now! Since contact lenses are an FDA-controlled device, I must comply with the federal mandates of the voluntary recall, investigating who may have received these lenses, calling the patients and checking the lot #’s, shipping the defective goods back, reimbursing patients, refitting patients, etc., etc., etc.

  233. Regarding that lovely O2 Optix recall… it was so nice of WalMart to inform me of this only AFTER I had been waiting for about 6 weeks after placing the order. They were kind enough to give me “trial” lenses every so often when I would come in to ask for an ETA and explained how I simply don’t have any lenses.
    And just the other day I was told by the girl in the optics center “try something like a 12 week wait for those…” Sigh. I can’t wear glasses as my son has broken them and I don’t WANT to wear them. I want my contacts.
    So why, if my Dr knows of this recall and such, will she not re-Rx another lens?

  234. Last problem first.
    1. Unfortunately in some practice settings (WALMART, K-MART,JC PENNEY, SEARS, COSTCO,ETC…). Doctors are provided with fitting lenses that are most readily available at the optical next door. They are “Encouraged” to prescribe certain types of lenses that render the Highest profit margin to cost ratio for the next door optical.
    2. Ask for the Vistakon products. ACUVUE ADVANCE OR the OASYS. Ask for the Coopervision BIOMEDICS XC or BIOFINITY. Ask for the Bausch & Lomb PureVision. The O-2 Optyx is not the end of the world.
    3.A Fresh inventory from the manufacturer Ciba of MiraFlow Extra Strength Daily cleaner is avilable now through participating doctors offices and on Sell.com. It hands down the Best contactlens cleaner on the market.

    docshear

  235. I just bought and received 20 bottles of miraflow from drugstore.com. I was told by CibaVision that I could purchase miraflow there–they also they sent me a list of doctors in my area which will sell the product.

    Unfortunately, the expiration on the bottles I received is May 2008, so I will have to return some of them.

  236. After using Ciba Vision Clear care cleaning and disinfection solution to soak lens, I rinsed lens with saline and inserted in eye. I experienced a very harsh reaction and almost paniced trying to get it out. thinking it was probably something like pepper on my hands, I threw away the lense and case. This recurred a second time and it seemed the only thing in common was the new soaking solution lot #38461. A diffferent solution worked fine.

  237. This happened to me also. Please e-mail me with some details
    st

  238. CIBA VISION was a great company until they changed leadership in 2002 and a couple of clowns like Mallof and Rex joined as CEO and CFO. CIBA Vision never recovered from their mismanagement.

  239. I also had a very bad reaction to clear care recently. In fact, I have not been able to wear contact lenses for weeks. I called the customer hotline and the woman kept saying it was impossible for me to have a reaction, and that it has never happened before. What BS! I am really upset and hope that this does not happen to anyone else! that said contact me please and let me know what is going on with your eyes if you had a similar reaction…I have itching and burning and redness and tearing. Not even my eye doctor believes me! I let the solution soak for more than 6 hours!

    Lot 70225

    -Diana

  240. My daughter was at a Girls Camp this week. She wears contacts and used a contact lens cleaner and it has severely damaged her one of her eyes. The instructions on the bottle are not clear and do not instruct the wearer on how to properly use the product. She had the contact in her eye for only about 10 seconds and now can’t see from that eye. It is really bad. She visited an emergency room, and is going to see another eye doctor today.
    From everything I am understanding this product is not to be used without a certain neutralizing case but it does not tell you that on the front of the bottle. It is in very small letters on the back of the bottle.sp

    The name of the product is Ciba-Vision Clear Care Cleaning and Disinfecting solution, No Rub. She has saved the product and we are going to call the manufacturer today about what the product has done to her eye and what can be done about it. From this web site, it doesn’t look like we are according to what you guys have been saying.

    What can we do to help her with what is going on. Is thre something we can do to help the eye itself. Thanks for your help.

    Ray

  241. Ray, you’re an idiot! Blaming others because you fail to read the directions on a medicinal product for your daughter. I can imagine it now while standing in the store “This stuff looks pretty, it should work the same as everything else….”

    Sorry for your daughter’s discomfort, but there is nobody to blame but yourself for not actually reading the package. It’s not as if there was an actual problem with the product.

  242. Well, if Ray is an idiot, then so am I! The same exact thing happened to me last week. I went to buy some lens solution and picked up a bottle that was on sale. The bottle happened to be Clear Care by Ciba vision. I am not loyal to any particular brand. Now, i’ve been wearing contacts for 10 years and always have used “no rub” solutions. Never in my life have I had to read the bottle for instrutions on how to use the solution. However, when i saw the strange case that comes with this solution, i did, in fact read the packaging to find out what this strange case was. Due to the fact that i must be an idiot, I didn’t see the tiny wording on the bottle that apparently tells you not to rinse your contacts with Clear Care. Notice that i said, “wording” instead of “warning”. It was far from a warning! So, I put the contact in my eye after rinsing it with the Clear Care stuff and i have never felt such a terrible burning sensation in my life! It was in my eye for about 10 seconds, just like Ray’s daughter, and my eye was severely irritated to the point it literally looked like a chemical burn. it lasted and entire week until finally, the redness started to go away. So, whoever called Ray an “idiot” should be ashamed of themselves! It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure that a warning be prominently displayed on the outside packaging. The law requires such a warning be in larger lettering and in bold if the consequences are of this magnitude! Ray, i hope your daughter has recovered from this terrible incident.

  243. Please watch your use of the product. I am highly allergic to the new contents in Clear Care and needed to discontinue the use of the product. I had severe eye pain, redness, blurred vision. I even had to drive home from the eye docters without wearing glasses because I could see better. Also the solution made my corneas so swollen I couldn’t wear contacts for weeks and I could not read or see every well with glasses. This product needs to be re-evaluated.

  244. Dear Luke,

    Hell of a good website. I am pursing Ciba Vision in Federal Court in Northern District Ohio after its product burned my client’s eyes and then my client was told not to get medical attention by a Ciba Vision rep because she was wrongfully told the product was harmless. If there are any other folks out there who can relate to this, please contact me at my e-mail address. I would be willing to consider joining them to the lawsuit as plaintiffs if they contact me and make such a request.

  245. Almost 1 1/2 years later Softwear Saline is again available at Fred Meyer stores in Portland, OR. I’m wondering why no other manufacturers stepped in to fill the gaps..does CIBA really have the only US patent on peroxide-based saline?

  246. To Jim and ST:

    Clear Care works better without a saline rinse prior to lens insertion. I used to get the same reaction but when Softwear was off the market I did without the separate rinse and used the neutralized Clear Care..which becomes plain saline after a 6 hour or longer soak.. to rinse the lenses an there was no such reaction. Unusually enough, I’m not sure that the Softwear I just purchased is the same as it used to be. I used some to rinse my lenses and re-insert them the way I did with the same product 1 1/2 years ago and noticed a slight discomfort..not quite a stinging, just slight. I’ll have to see if I get used to it or not. I was using Opti-Free Replenish in the interim and it did the same thing first time. I finally got used to that so maybe I’ll get used to this again.

    Also: Clear Care now has big red warnings on the bottle label as well as a detachable cardboard warning to prevent people from putting it directly into their eyes, so some communication must have gotten through.

  247. Another post-script on Softwear saline: The suspected ingredient causing the discomfort is phosphoric acid, which I know as the stuff in cola drinks that dissolves nails overnight. (The label says that the patent on this ingredient as a stabilizer is pending in the US and the product is now being manufactured in Canada.)

    Wikipedia has a comprehensive overview at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphoric_acid What is most disturbing is that phosphoric acid binds with magnesium and calcium in the digestive tract to form salts that are not absorbed. I’m wondering what it does when taken in through the eyes. I don’t drink soda and my body has little tolerance for the stuff. I hope they don’t get FDA approval and have to use something else.

  248. My son was at soccer camp last week and he had some bad eye problems because of his allergies, so he kept taking his eye solution and eye drops as recommended and then one of his eyes got super damaged.

    We thought it was because of some dirt but it ended up being the product itself, it’s pretty rough and the medical insurance is tough. We tried using some natural remedies to help him out since we don’t have the money to cover the health costs and so far he’s doing a lot better. This was a helpful website if anyone else has had the same problem

    http://visioncorrectionexercises.com

  249. I do not want to offend anyone here but I always get mad when children are harmed because of greed, stupidity or pure ignorance. And the worst is kids cant help themselves. They rely on someone else to take care of them. And if this someone is not capable of reading instructions for medicaments or is believing every money-hungry scammer he should not take care of children or at least get himself some help. I myself am still young and my step father took care of me. When I tried out lenses he bought me some products without knowing what it is and without even properly reading the instructions. Needless to say that it ended in a disaster and my eyes hurt so bad. The only thing he could come up with was “I guess it supposed to burn like this”.
    So for everyone who takes care of a child: You are responsible for his health so you must inform yourself before doing anything.

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