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CMV Retinitis

What is CMV Retinitis?

Section of retina diagram

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis is a virus that may infect the retina and potentially cause irreversible vision loss due to retinal detachment or destruction. It is most often diagnosed in patients with a severely compromised immune system, including those with AIDS or those on chronic immunosuppressive therapy following organ transplantation.

Although a large percentage of the human population is infected with the virus, only those with significant compromise of the immune system develop retinitis. This CMV virus quickly eats away at the retina. The symptoms are flashes of light, floaters, and blurred vision. This virus can also lead to a retinal detachment.

What are my treatment options?

Treatment consists of antiviral medications and these can be administered in the following ways:

  • Orally
  • IV
  • Injected straight into the affected eyeball

Treatment is often done in conjunction with an infectious disease specialist. As with all treatments, the risks, benefits, and alternatives must always be considered.

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