What is Chorioretinitis?

Inflammation of the choroid (thin pigmented vascular coat of the eye) and retina is known as chorioretinitis.  The choroid supplies nutrition and removes waste material from the retina; it also provides a cooling function that helps to dissipate heat generated by the visual process. Chorioretinitis is a form of posterior uveitis that can destroy the eye tissues and can lead to severe vision loss.  The posterior segment of the eye is the back two-thirds of the eye that includes the anterior hyaloid membrane and the optical structures behind it which include the retina, vitreous humor, choroid, and optic nerve.

There are many different forms of chorioretinitis with the most common form being toxoplasmic chorioretinitis which accounts for 25% of the posterior uveitis cases in the United States.

Causes

Chorioretinitis may be caused by infection or by autoimmune disorders and may appear as a result of a past infection.  Some of the causes of chorioretinitis include AIDS, bruising to the eye, congenital viral, bacterial or protozoal infections in newborns, toxins that penetrate the eye, and tumors or infections within the eye or other parts of the body.

Treatment usually involves treating the underlying condition or cause of the disease.  Depending on the specific cause of your chorioretinitis, treatment options may include antivirals or antibiotics.  Nonspecific treatment, pending diagnosis, is the administration of systemic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), while test results are pending.

Eye symptoms may be treated with steroids or with laser treatment of retinal lesions.  Surgical treatment may include vitrectomy in severe cases in patients that are resistant to conservative medical treatment

Symptoms

  • Objects may appear distorted
  • Impaired color vision
  • Redness in the eye
  • Impaired night vision
  • Blurred or loss of vision
  • Sensation of sparks or flashes of light
  • Seeing floating objects
  • Excessive tearing
  • Light sensitivity or glare

There are other conditions where these symptoms may present themselves that may not indicate chorioretinitis.  Therefore, it is important to see an ophthalmologist immediately if you are experiencing any of these symptoms to get an accurate diagnosis to protect your vision and begin treatment if necessary.

Our retina specialists at Fort Lauderdale Eye Institute specialize in the medical and surgical treatment of retinal diseases including uveitis, macular degeneration, retinal tears and detachments.  If you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed above, call 954-741-5555 and make an appointment today.