Ocular histoplasmosis is a relatively common fungal infection of the eye that principally affects the retina. The disease was described in another article on Histoplasmosis. The disease is more prevalent in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys especially in areas involved in poultry farming.
Treatment of the retina disease has improved over the past decades due to the availability of anti-VEGF medications.
This is the second part of a 2 part series on ocular histoplasmosis.
Ocular Histo Treatment Options
Anti-VEGF Injections: To stop the growth of abnormal and leaking blood vessels within the layers of the retina an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) can be injected into the eye.
Injections are a very efficient way of targeting diseases of the retina. Diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration are other retinal diseases treated with anti-VEGF medications.
Anti-VEGF medications include: Avastin, Lucentis, Eylea and Buovu.
Laser Treatments used to be the mainstay of treatment for ocular histoplasmosis and wet macular degeneration. In both situations, abnormal blood vessels can form within the layers of the retina.
Unfortunately, laser treatment damages all layers of the retina. Anti-VEGF has the advantage of selectively treating the neovascular tissue (abnormal blood vessels) while leaving the surrounding retinal tissue unscathed. Laser treatment did successfully halt the further growth of neovascularization, but also caused a permanent blind spot in the vision.
Still there are special situations where laser photocoagulation may be appropriate.
Steroid injection: If the histoplasmosis has caused swelling, your ophthalmologist may use steroid injections to reduce the swelling.
There are no specific warning signs of ocular histoplasmosis. In general, call your eye doctor should you notice new and persistent changes in your vision to include blurriness and/or distortion.
We look forward to seeing you. If you have questions or want to make an appointment, please give us a call.
Gregory Scimeca, M.D.
Ophthalmologist and Medical Director