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CMV Retinitis

CMV or cytomegalovirus retinitis is a vision threatening virus that causes inflammation of the retina, primarily in individuals with a compromised immune system, such as those with AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).

Symptoms of CMV Retinitis

Symptoms of CMV retinitis often appear relatively suddenly. They include general blurriness, seeing flashes or floaters, sudden loss of peripheral (side) vision, or blind spots in central vision. These symptoms all appear as the virus attacks the retina, the light-sensitive layer of nerves at the back of the eye. If left untreated, the virus can cause retinal detachment and will eventually destroy the retina and damage the optic nerve, causing permanent vision loss. Usually there is no pain felt as the retinal damage is taking place. Symptoms usually start in one eye and but can spread to the other eye as well.

Causes of CMV Retinitis

Cytomegalovirus is a herpes type virus that is actually present in most adults. However, most healthy adults never experience any symptoms or problems from the virus. Individuals with a weakened immune system however, such as those with AIDS, chemotherapy or leukemia patients, newborns or the elderly are at greater risk of the virus being activated and spreading throughout the body, including the retina.

Treatment for CMV Retinitis

Treatment includes antiviral medications such as ganciclovir, foscarnet or cidofovir, which can be administered orally, via injection through a vein or directly into the eye or through a time-release implant the releases the medication at intervals. Laser surgery to improve the damaged area of the retina, such as in a retinal detachment, may also be prescribed.

Immune strengthening is also a critical part of preventing and treating CMV retinitis. Individuals with HIV or AIDS may be put on a regimen of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) to boost the immune system and fight the virus. This has been shown to be highly effective in reducing the incidence of CMV retinitis in AIDS patients and reducing the damage for those that are affected.

While these treatments can stop further damage to the retina, any vision that is lost cannot be restored. Further, even if the virus is temporarily stopped, further progression may occur in the future. This is why it is critical to see a retinal specialist on a regular basis if you have had the condition or you are at risk.

To Our Patient Family,

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in the best interest of public health to help flatten the curve, our office will be following the CDC guidelines to postpone all routine eye care visits. We have made the decision to reduce our services to urgent/emergent eye care only until April 6th at which time we will re-evaluate.

What Does This Mean?

Although the physical office will be closed starting Saturday March 21st, there will be limited staff available to answer questions, place contact lens order, schedule urgent/emergent patients, etc. by phone at (512) 452-5735 from 9am – 1pm Monday through Friday.

Dr. Amin is still available for red eyes, sudden vision changes, injuries, and other urgent issues for both new and established patients. Please call us to schedule an appointment for urgent care.

If you have an eyeglasses or contact lens order ready for pickup, please call us to arrange a pickup time.

As always, we are here for you if you need us and if you have questions about your specific situation please feel free to call or email! God bless & stay safe!

Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time!

The Doctors and Staff of TSO Capital Plaza