Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)is caused by The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).About 75% of AIDS patients develop eye problems that can lead to blindness. A common sight-threatening disease among AIDS patients is Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis. Though the cases of CMV were quite high in the recent past,with the formulation of a drug that treats AIDS and restores the function of the immune system, the CMV cases are on a decline. But knowing about its symptoms, causes and timely action is a must to prevent blindness in AIDS patients.
The CMV Retinitis SymptomsWhen CMV affects the retina, it inhibits the light-sensitive receptors that enables one to see. So, there will not be an episode of pain, but a sudden discomfort in the form of blurry vision, small pecks, eye floaters, reduced peripheral vision, light flashes or sudden loss of vision. Though this discomfort is there in one eye, it does affect both the eyes and needs immediate treatment. If CMV Retinitis is left untreated, it can detach the retina from its underlying supportive tissue and even lead to blindness in just a span of 2-6 months.
The CMV Retinitis - CausesIt is cytomegalovirus that causes CMV Retinitis, a common virus of the Herpes family. Studies indicate that nearly 80% of the adults get infected with this virus, but they have the antibodies to CMV and can fight it. However, in the case of an AIDS patient, it is the weak immune system that deters them from fighting this virus.
The CMV Retinitis TreatmentFor an AIDS patient, it is essential to get an eye test done and visit an ophthalmologist every 3 to 6 months. Moreover, when they experience the above visual symptoms, they need to visit a retina specialist immediately. Different anti-viral drugs are available to treat CMV. Though this disease is not curable, timely diagnosis can go a long way in slowing its progress and pre-empting the risk of blindness.
Pledge To Know the Status, Pledge to CareThis World AIDS awareness month, pledge to get a test done and know the status. It can help in preventing the spread of this disease against which the world has been fighting for over decades. AIDS can impact every vital organ of the human body as it hampers the immune system. It also leads to various eye problems and can even cause blindness. If you have a known who suffers from AIDS, then pledge to care and take them for regular eye check up.