After a diagnosis of ocular histoplasmosis, you want to ensure that you are under the care of an eye doctor experienced in treating this condition. At Retina Associates of Middle Georgia, our eye doctors have the expertise and knowledge to treat your ocular histoplasmosis.
What Is Ocular Histoplasmosis?
Ocular histoplasmosis syndrome, also known as OHS, is an eye condition that can cause blurry or distorted vision. Histoplasmosis often originates as an infection in the lungs and then can travel to the eye.
The histoplasmosis infection is most common in the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys. This lung infection is caused when you breathe in spores from the fungus.
OHS can be a complication from the histoplasmosis infection if the infection spreads to your eyes through the bloodstream. Once in your eye, this infection can cause scars in the retina, which is located in the back of your eye.
The scars themselves may not cause many symptoms. However, the scars can cause abnormal blood vessels to develop.
Abnormal blood vessels often cause vision changes. However, many people do not know they have the infection.
You are more likely to develop ocular histoplasmosis syndrome if you handle birds and chickens or work in contaminated soil on a farm. If you have a compromised or weakened immune system, you may also be at higher risk for developing this condition.
What Are The Symptoms of Ocular Histoplasmosis?
In the early stages, ocular histoplasmosis often does not cause many symptoms. Over time, if the condition worsens, you may start to notice changes in your vision.
Other symptoms you may experience if you have ocular histoplasmosis are:
• Blind or dark spots in your vision
• Straight lines appear wavy or curvy
• Colors appearing dull or faded
• Blurred vision
• Objects appear of different sizes in each eye
If you notice any of these symptoms, regardless of if you have a previous histoplasmosis diagnosis, visit your eye doctor right away. Your eye doctor will be able to determine the root cause of your symptoms and prepare a treatment plan to help resolve or improve them.
How Do Eye Doctors Treat Ocular Histoplasmosis?
Your eye doctor will first dilate your eyes to determine if you have ocular histoplasmosis. Dilating your eyes will allow your pupil to enlarge so that your eye doctor can view your retina.
They will then look at your retina and examine it for signs of ocular histoplasmosis, like scars or swelling in the back of the eye. If your eye doctor detects evidence of ocular histoplasmosis, they may conduct further tests using a camera that allows them a clearer look at the blood vessels in your retina.
Primarily, eye doctors use injections for the treatment of ocular histoplasmosis. These injections are called anti-VEGF injections.
These injections aim to halt the condition’s progression by preventing the growth of new, abnormal blood vessels. They can also stop current abnormal blood vessels from leaking.
If successful, these injections may also improve your visual symptoms.
Are you interested in learning more about ocular histoplasmosis? Schedule an appointment at Retina Associates of Middle Georgia today!