What is cytomegalovirus retinitis? How does it affect people who suffer from it? How can it be prevented? This article will talk about cytomegalovirus retinitis or cmv retinitis and the important facts about this type of eye disease. If you are interested, you can learn more by clicking here.
What is CMV retinitis?
Cytomegalovirus CMV retinitis is an eye disease that can potentially cause blindness in a person if it goes untreated. There are many types of retinitis, but cytomegalovirus retinitis is one that develops and is caused by a viral infection to the retina.
CMV or cytomegalovirus is a type of herpes virus. For most people, especially people with strong or normal-functioning immune systems, a herpes virus will cause no harm. However, if a person with a weakened immune system contracts a herpes virus, they will more likely have the herpes virus develop into this type of retinitis.
People most likely to be affected by CMV retinitis
The people who are most susceptible to getting cytomegalovirus CMV retinitis are people who are immunocompromised. People who have weak immune systems have a hard time fighting the virus.
Most of the time, people with HIV AIDS are the ones who get affected with cytomegalovirus CMV retinitis. They have compromised immune systems that are not strong enough to fight the virus that affects the eyes.
How to prevent CMV retinitis
The good news is that cytomegalovirus CMV retinitis is preventable. As long as the person who has HIV takes their HAART medication, the medication will work to stop the spread of the disease. However, the HAART medication can only stop further damage of the disease from occurring. Unfortunately, there is no medication that can reverse the damage that has already been done to the eyes.
Before the use of HAART medication in the prevention of cytomegalovirus retinitis, other anti viral drugs were used to combat the virus. The use of oral prophylactic therapy such as ganciclovir and valganciclovir was used before HAART medication became widely accessible. However, as with any type of medicine, these medications had many unwanted side-effects.
Is cytomegalovirus retinitis curable?
At this point, we have already established that cytomegalovirus retinitis is preventable. If people with HIV AIDS conditions have cytomegalovirus CMV retinitis, as long as they take their HAART medication, the spread of the disease can be stopped. However, once a person gets cytomegalovirus CMV retinitis, is it curable?
The answer is no. The disease will only be preventable from spreading, but once a person with a compromised immune system gets affected by cytomegalovirus retinitis, there is no way to cure the disease. Also, the effects of the disease are irreversible, even with the use of HAART medication.
What can a person do about cytomegalovirus retinitis?
There are certain ways for a person with a compromised immune system to protect their vision and eyesight from cytomegalovirus CMV retinitis. Since people with HIV AIDS are the most susceptible to these kinds of diseases, they are the ones who may benefit the most from practising these precautionary methods.
The best way to combat CMV retinitis is to strengthen your immune system. There are vitamin supplements that people can take that have vitamin A, which is good for the eyes. This can help fight the virus, and keep eyes healthy. However, it is a wise idea to consult a doctor as to the ideal dosage amount for vitamin A. This vitamin can be toxic and very bad for the health in high doses.
What are the symptoms of CMV retinitis?
In the first stages of when CMV retinitis is developing, there will usually be no noticeable symptoms. Once symptoms do develop, they may start to appear over the course of a few days, instead of all at once.
Common symptoms include blurred vision, loss of vision in the side of your eyes, and floaters in your eyes. These are usually small specs that could your vision. Most of the time, these symptoms appear in only one eye at first.
If a person has CMV retinitis, there are various treatment methods they can use to treat the virus. The doctors will usually provide treatment that will both strengthen the immune system as well as work to break down the retinitis and treat it.
In some cases, the doctor may prescribe anti viral drugs such as ganciclovir to treat the virus, or in other cases, doctors may prescribe pills that can be taken orally, or have a patient receive an injection straight into the eye.
Do you think you have CMV retinitis?
If you have the symptoms mentioned above, and have HIV AIDS or have a compromised immune system, it may be within your best interest to talk to your doctor about CMV retinitis. Keep in mind that there are other forms of retinitis, and you may suffer from one of those. It is a good idea to see an eye doctor to get proper diagnosis for what you have.
If you do get diagnosed with CMV retinitis, your doctor will be able to advise you on what treatment methods can be taken to stop the spread of the virus and minimize the damage that the virus can potentially cause.