CMV retinitis is an infection that attacks the light-sensing cells in the retina. It is a serious disease that should be diagnosed and treated immediately, because it can lead to loss of vision, and in the worst cases, blindness.
What Causes CMV Retinitis?
CMV stands for cytomegalovirus. This virus is a common source of infection in humans and generally lays dormant in the body without producing symptoms. While most people’s immune systems are able to fend it off, those with weakened immune systems; newborns, elderly, people receiving chemotherapy and organ transplant recipients are vulnerable to its effects. It is less common in people with HIV or AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) who are taking anti-retroviral therapies, but still a risk. CMV infection can occur in several parts of the body, most commonly in the gastrointestinal system and the retina, the tissue in the back of the eye necessary for vision.
The virus may also spread from shingles on the forehead and nose in older adults with weak immune systems.
Symptoms of CMV Retinitis
Many people with CMV retinitis experience no symptoms. However, there are certain signs that may be indicative of the virus:
- Floaters in the eye
- Flashes in the eye
- Blurred vision
- Blind spot in vision
- Loss of peripheral vision
These symptoms may appear in one eye first, then to the other eye. Retinal detachment may also occur with CMV retinitis.
If you have a weakened immune system, you should have your eyes examined regularly to help identify any eye health issues early.
Treatment for CMV Retinitis
A person with a weakened immune system experiencing any of the above listed signs should see their eye care professional as soon as possible. The first step may be strengthening your immune system.
There are several medications that aim to minimize the effects of CMV retinitis. The sooner you begin treatment, the better chance that vision can be helped. Also, if only one eye is infected, receiving proper systemic treatment early may protect the other eye,
Medication (oral, injected or intravenous): Used to slow the progression of the disease.
Laser Surgery: To strengthen the retina, if damaged.
If you have had CMV retinitis you should have your eyes examined regularly to help identify any eye health issues early as recurrence is common.
Babies Eye Concerns
While chances are excellent that your baby's vision will develop normally, some infants have a higher risk for certain conditions that may affect their sight...Know More
Toddlers and Childrens Vision Concerns
Parents are usually the first to notice that their children may have special vision needs, so if you have any concerns about your child’s vision, don’t hesit...Know More
Keeping your Eyes Healthy
It is important that your eyes stay healthy because you’ll need good vision for just about every activity you choose—and you want to keep your 20/20 vision f...Know More
Generally, changes in your vision now are just a factor of aging. If you experience any of the issues below, you may have the early warning signs of a m...Know More
60s+ Eye Concerns
Many eye diseases have no early symptoms. They may be painless, and you may see no change in your vision until the disease has become quite advanced. Only yo...Know More
A person with shortsightedness can see close objects clearly, but may have trouble seeing objects from a distance – like a road sign, blackboard, or face acr...Know More
Contrary to what the name implies, a person who is longsighted has blurred vision when looking at close objects, unless they make a constant effort to focus,...Know More
Astigmatism is a common vision condition that happens when a person's cornea is not symmetrical. A normal cornea is round like a baseball. With astigmatism, ...Know More
Presbyopia is a natural occurrence where near vision becomes blurred, making it hard to focus while doing things like reading, using a mobile phone, or worki...Know More
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
If you’ve been diagnosed with Age-related Macular Degeneration (commonly abbreviated as AMD), you’re not alone. It is estimated that as many as 16 million pe...Know More
Bulging eyes, or proptosis, occurs when one or both eyes protrude from the eye sockets due to space taking lesions such as swelling of the muscles, fat, and ...Know More
The eye's natural crystalline lens helps us focus on people and things at varying distances. Unfortunately, as we grow older this lens often stiffens and har...Know More
Cataracts in Babies
Normally, babies are born with a transparent lens in each eye. The lens focuses objects on the retina, and it brings objects into focus, making it possible f...Know More
Diabetic Macular Edema
Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a complication of diabetes caused by fluid accumulation in the macula, or central portion of the eye, that causes the macula ...Know More
Nearly all people who are “color blind” can see colors but have difficulty distinguishing between certain colors. Not all people who are color blind have tro...Know More
Crossed Eyes (Strabismus)
Crossed eyes (or strabismus) occur when a person’s eyes are not able to align on the same point at the same time, and appear to be misaligned or pointed in d...Know More
Herpetic Keratitis (Eye Ulcers)
You've probably heard that the herpes simplex virus (HSV) can cause open sores on the face and genitals but did you know the infection can be transferred to ...Know More
Keratoconus is a condition that results from an irregularly shaped cornea, which prevents light from focusing correctly on the retina. In keratoconus, the no...Know More
Eye Floaters and Eye Flashes
Eye floaters are tiny spots, specks, lines or shapes that enter into your field of vision, appearing to float in front of the eye. They may seem like
Glaucoma occurs when a build-up of fluid creates pressure in the eye, which then damages the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for the transmission...Know More
Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)
Amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye, occurs when there is a lack of vision in one eye because the eye and the brain are not working together. The brain may...Know More
Ocular hypertension occurs when the pressure in the eye (known as intraocular pressure) is above the range considered normal (often defined as above 21 mm Hg...Know More
Retinal detachment occurs when the retina becomes separated from the nerve tissues and blood supply underneath it. While painless, visually this has a cloudi...Know More
Sometimes your eyelid simply twitches. It is rarely uncomfortable and does not affect your vision-- but it can be irritating. Most of all, it may make you wo...Know More
Low vision is a term that refers to vision 20/70 or worse that cannot be fully corrected by glasses or contact lenses. People with low vision generally
Uveitis is an inflammation of the uvea (or uveal layer) – the middle layer of three that make up the eye. It may be infectious or noninfectious. It is
Don’t Believe These 5 Myths About Glaucoma
You will find that every year, multiple national and international eye institutes, health organizations, opticians, universities, and NGOs combine efforts to...Know More
Common Eye Disorder Explained - The Usuals vs. The Red Flags
Our eyes are highly complex and sensitive organs. If you want your eyes to be healthy and enjoy a colorful and vibrant life, you need to take good care of th...Know More