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CMV Retinitis

CMV retinitis signs and symptoms

AIDS patients sometimes also experience changes to the retina and optic nerve without clear signs of CMV retinitis.

What causes CMV retinitis?

CMV retinitis is caused by the cytomegalovirus, which is a very common virus. About 80% of adults harbor antibodies to CMV, which indicates their bodies have successfully fought it off. The difference for people who have AIDS is that their weakened or non-functioning immune system cannot stave off this virus. Other people with a weakened or suppressed immune system, such as those undergoing chemotherapy or a bone marrow transplant, are also at risk of CMV retinitis.

How is CMV retinitis treated?

If you have active AIDS and are experiencing visual symptoms, you should see a retina specialist immediately. A person newly-diagnosed with CMV retinitis can expect to visit the specialist every two to four weeks.

Once the disease is controlled, the retina specialist may recommend follow-up visits with your regular eye doctor every three to six months.

Drugs for CMV retinitis. Anti-viral drugs commonly used to treat CMV retinitis are ganciclovir (Cytovene), foscarnet (Foscavir) and cidofovir (Vistide). These medications can slow down the progression of CMV, but they can’t cure it. These potent anti-viral drugs can also cause unpleasant or serious side effects.

Ganciclovir is available in a pill, used following two weeks of intravenous infusion, and also in an implant called Vitrasert. The implant releases medication directly into the eye, so it doesn’t cause the side effects experienced with intravenous infusion or with the pill.

Drugs for HIV. The biggest breakthrough in AIDS treatment is highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), a combination of drugs that suppress the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), also known as the AIDS virus. HAART allows your immune system to recover and fight off infections like CMV retinitis.

AIDS is a serious global health problem. If you have AIDS, are HIV positive or have a compromised immune system from other causes, see your eye doctor frequently to rule out CMV retinitis and to discuss the latest treatment options if a CMV-related eye problem is detected.

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Our office will be opening on Monday, May 18th. We will be following all CDC guidelines as well as those recommended by our National and State Organizations including the KOA and AOA as well as the Governor of Kentucky. We will be adding to our protocol to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. Due to the recommendations, we are following, all patients will need to call from the parking lot when they arrive. We will ask you if you are running a fever, or have symptoms of COVID-19. We may even take your temperature to keep for our records. We will ask that you remain in your car until we notify you to come to our office.

All patients entering the building must wear a mask or face covering.

We ask for your patience over the next few months as we work to get our patients rescheduled that had to be canceled during the closure. We will not be working at full capacity for some time and realize this will most likely cause delays in getting people rescheduled. We will also not be taking walk-in patients and ask that you please call if you need to be seen to set up an appointment. Please know that we are doing everything we can to take care of our patients during these difficult times.

You now can order contacts from the convenience of your home on our website by clicking here.
If you do not know your current prescription, please email us at dr.glenn0180@gmail.com or call us at 859-271-6194.
If you have insurance you would like to use, you will need to call us and we will be happy to place the order for you and submit it to your insurance.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you all soon,

Dr. Jason Glenn and Staff