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Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome

Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome Causes

Ocular histoplasmosis syndrome is caused by spores of Histoplasma capsulatum (histo), which spread from the lungs to the eye, where they lodge in the choroids or the layer of blood vessels that supply nutrients and blood to the retina. When tiny abnormal blood vessels grow beneath the retina, they form a lesion called choroidal neovascularization (CNV) that, if untreated, can cause scar tissue and replace the normal retinal tissue in the macula of the retina. Vision distortions also occur when the abnormal blood vessels leak blood and fluid into the macula.

Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome Definition

Ocular histoplasmosis syndrome pertains to an eye disease that causes vision loss due to the spread of fungal spores from the lungs to the eye, where they tend to lodge in a layer of blood vessels known as the choroids, which primarily supplies blood and nutrients to the retina. There, these spores cause the growth of fragile, abnormal blood vessels under the retina, consequently forming a lesion called choroidal neovascularization (CNV).

Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome Diagnosis

Diagnosis for ocular histoplasmosis syndrome is done through an ophthalmoscopy, or dilated examination of the retina.

Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome Symptoms and Signs

In early stages, ocular histoplasmosis syndrome shows no symptoms. The original infection usually resolves without treatment, but leave small scars known as ?histo spots? which remain at the site of the infection. While histo spots rarely affect vision, they can cause complications a period after the original vision. In later stages, ocular histoplasmosis syndrome becomes symptomatic with abnormal blood vessels affecting vision. Common symptoms of ocular histoplasmosis syndrome include: blind spots; wavy lines; vision distortions; histo spots; and, in severe cases, loss of vision.

Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome Treatment

The only successful treatment for ocular histoplasmosis syndrome is photocoagulation, a type of laser surgery wherein a small powerful beam of light is used to destroy the fragile abnormal vessels and the small amount of the overlying retinal tissue.

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