Histoplasmosis Retinopathy

Vision Loss from Histoplasmosis Retinopathy

An IALVS eye doctor can fit you with low vision aids to maximize your sight & your life!

Histoplasmosis is a disease caused by breathing in airborne spores of the fungus, Histoplasma capsulatum. While this fungus exists globally, it is extremely widespread in the Mississippi and Ohio River Valley regions of the US.

While the disease usually causes only mild symptoms similar to a cold or flu, sometimes it leads to a serious eye condition called histoplasmosis retinopathy. Also known as Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome (OHS), this condition is a leading cause of blindness in Americans aged 20 to 40 years.

Low vision devices can help restore your independence

Our IALVS eye doctors are knowledgeable about all the low vision aids and glasses that are available – and we’ll fit you with the most suitable devices to help you do all the things you love to do!

  • Do you want to keep writing? Low vision magnifiers can enlarge the page so you can see it in sharper detail.
  • Want to see what’s happening on the sidelines? Hand-held or mounted telescopic devices can help widen your visual field to enhance peripheral vision.
  • Do you miss cooking, watching TV, or shopping on your own? We’ll match you with magnifying optics so you have a more detailed view.

Tell our IALVS eye doctor about your lifestyle and daily activities, and we’ll determine the best low vision devices and rehabilitation to help you cope with vision loss caused by histoplasmosis retinopathy.

How can histoplasmosis affect the eyes?

After you inhale the fungus, it travels through your bloodstream to your eyes, and it can cause scarring and inflammation in the retina. Usually, these scars (called “histo spots”) do not lead to any visual problems. However, if the disease involves the retina and macular region – vision loss may result. Sometimes, abnormal blood vessels grow or fluid leaks into the retina due to the histoplasmosis, thereby damaging vision. People suffer reduced vision, such as seeing wavy lines instead of straight and developing blind spots in their visual field.

What is the treatment for histoplasmosis retinopathy?

Possible treatments include laser procedures, steroid injections, and new medications that have been proven effective to help decrease the amount of vision loss. If there are abnormal blood vessels under the macular, another option may be to undergo sub-retinal surgery to remove them.

Vision loss? Meet with an IALVS eye doctor near you!

Our IALVS eye doctors attend regular training seminars to ensure that we are up-to-date with the latest low vision technologies and strategies. If you have experienced vision loss due to histoplasmosis retinopathy, we can help.

If the visual impairment only occurs in one eye, we can also fit you with safety eyewear to protect the good eye. If vision in both eyes has been damaged, our low vision experts will recommend the most helpful eyewear, such as magnifying optics, CCTV systems, and telescopic devices. We will also teach you how to modify your environment in order to optimize your vision and stay safe.