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Westwood, NJ 07675

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Home » Eye Health » Eye Conditions » CMV Retinitis

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.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: PLEASE READ ENTIRE MESSAGE

Valley Eye Associates is OPEN for all patients and appointment types.

 

Below are the safety protocols that have been put in place for all visiting patients:

  1. All equipment is cleaned with 70% isopropyl alcohol before and after each use.
  2. A protective plastic shield has been installed at the front check in area.
  3. Upon arrival each patient will need their temperature checked with a non-contact thermometer.
  4. We will use our online check-in form as well as requiring any insurance cards or documents to be sent to us via text/email if possible.
  5. All payments can be made with credit card by phone.
  6. All visitors will be required to wear a face covering or mask at all times. You will NOT be allowed to enter without wearing one.
  7. All pick-ups, adjustments, and other visits will require an appointment time. This is needed so that we know when to expect you and can distance you from anyone else.
  8. Please come at your scheduled time. If you arrive too early you may have to wait in your car. If you arrive too late for us to perform the necessary tests for your exam you may have to be rescheduled.
  9. Frames that are tried on must be put into a separate box. Frames are disinfected by saturating in a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution for a minimum of 10 minutes, dried, and then stored for 3 days before being put on display.

Feel free to call us at 201-664-0847 during our business hours or visit our website at www.2020nj.com to reschedule your appointment.

Thank you.