Cytomegalovirus Retinitis

What is Cytomegalovirus Retinitis?

Cytomegalovirus retinitis, or CMV retinitis, is a common herpes type virus that many people are exposed to throughout their lives. However, the virus only becomes active if a person has a compromised immune system. The virus itself is an inflammation in the retina, which can cause blindness if not properly treated. CMV retinitis usually develops in four to six months; this includes the amount of time it takes to blind both eyes.

What are the symptoms?

Sometimes there are no symptoms. That is why it is essential to receive regular eye exams, especially if you have a weakened state of immunity. However, the following list of symptoms of CMV retinitis warrants a visit to the eye doctor:

  • Vision problems, including blind spots;
  • Floaters;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Eye pain;
  • Flashes;
  • Loss of peripheral vision;
  • Eye redness.

What is the treatment?

Because the virus threatens eyesight, CMV retinitis is usually treated aggressively with antivirals. These antivirals can be administered in a number of different ways, including orally, intravenously, and as an injection in the eye. Because the treatment plan depends on each case, the plan is often re-evaluated on a week to week basis.

When to seek treatment

At any point you suspect you might have an eye infection, especially if you have a compromised immune system, you should seek medical attention. The sooner you get diagnosed and treated, the better the chance of saving your eye. Also, the infection can spread to the other eye as well. So if you receive treatment quickly, you will also be protecting your other eye.

If you think you are experiencing any of these symptoms of CMV retinitis, please contact us and let us know at Palm Beach Eye Center, so we can get you help as soon as possible.