Chorioretinitis


Chorioretinitis

Description, Causes and Risk Factors:

Chorioretinitis is a general term often applied to inflammation of the light-sensitive layer on the back of the eye, retina and the adjacent vascular layer, choroid.

Chorioretinitis is an inflammation of the choroid and retina, two critical parts of the eye. There are a number of potential causes for a patient to develop chorioretinitis, and some patients may be more at risk than others. Patients who are at risk should take special care to monitor their vision, so that they can identify signs of emerging problems early.

Chorioretinitis

This condition classically emerges in immunocompromised patients, such as people living with AIDS. Young children and elderly adults can also be at risk because their immune systems may not be as capable of fighting off infection. Chorioretinitis occurs when an ongoing infection manages to reach the choroid and retina. Toxoplasmosis, syphilis, and Cytomegalovirus (CMV) are common culprits, although other types of infections can also cause chorioretinitis.

Because chorioretinitis is often caused by infections or systemic illnesses, take the following steps to help reduce your chance of getting the condition:

    See your doctor for an eye exam if you have any eye pain or vision problems or any other problems with your eyes.

  • If you have any autoimmune diseases, follow your doctor's recommendations closely regarding treatment of the illness and regular comprehensive eye examinations.

Symptoms:

Symptoms begin suddenly or gradually and may consist of blurred or decreased vision, sensitivity to light, and floating dark spots (floaters) in the visual field, epiphora. Pain is usually absent or mild. If untreated this may lead to blindness.

Diagnosis:

Diagnosis is based on,

  • Physical Exam: The exam may show a constricted or irregular pupil. A clouded vitreous or small light-colored patch in the retina and/or choroid may show evidence of fresh lesions. If healing already has occurred, residual scarring may manifest as floating black spots (scarred areas with abnormal pigmentation) and possible blind spots in the visual field (scotoma).

  • Tests: A thorough ophthalmoscopy, which magnifies the eye's interior (fundus), should be performed.

Treatment:

Treatment involves administration of antibiotics to kill the infection, and corticosteroids to reduce the inflammation. If chorioretinitis is appearing as a complication of another disease or disorder such as AIDS or an autoimmune disease, treatment can also involve an adjustment to the patient's overall treatment plan. In many cases, the patient experiences a full recovery, with no lasting vision problems. In others, scarring can occur, causing spots or blurred vision in the long term, especially if the inflammation reaches the macula.

NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.

DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.

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