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Chorioretinitis

Definition

Chorioretinitis is an inflammation of the choroid, which is a lining of the retina deep in the eye. This inflammation can affect vision.

Anatomy of the Eye
AR00032 labeled eye
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Causes

Chorioretinitis may be caused by infection or by autoimmune diseases.

It is sometimes caused by an infection that you had when you were young, although the symptoms may not appear for 10 to 20 years.

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your risk of chorioretinitis include having or having a history of an

  • Weak immune status
  • Exposure to pets, raw or undercooked meat, or contaminated water
  • HLA-A29 gene

Symptoms

Symptoms of chorioretinitis may include:

  • Pain or redness in the eye
  • Blurred vision, or seeing floating objects in your vision
  • Sensitivity to light or glare
  • Excessive tearing
  • Sensation of sparks or flashes of light
  • Impaired night vision
  • Impaired color vision
  • istortion of objects

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, including illnesses and injuries. A physical exam will be done.

To prepare for a complete eye exam, drops may be put in your eyes to numb them and to dilate your pupils. The slit lamp, a special microscope to examine the eye, will focus a high powered beam of light into your eye to examine the cornea and other structures in your eye. The doctor may measure the pressure in your eyes.

Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with blood tests.

Treatment

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.

The medications used will vary depending on the cause of the chorioretinitis.

Anti-inflammatory eye drops are the most common treatment, usually corticosteroid drops.

If the chorioretinitis is related to an active or suspected infection anti-infectious medications will be used as well.

Your doctor may also prescribe oral medications or possibly inject steroids around the eye.

Your doctor may also prescribe dilating drops, which help prevent the iris from sticking to the lens underneath, reducing discomfort. However, these drops will increase glare and light sensitivity.

Also, if the chorioretinitis was caused by another medical disorder, it will be treated.

Prevention

Because chorioretinitis is often caused by infections or systemic illnesses, take the following steps to help reduce your chance of getting the condition:

  • See your doctor for an eye exam if you have any eye pain or vision problems or any other problems with your eyes.
  • If you have any autoimmune diseases, follow your doctor’s advice regarding treatment of the illness and regular comprehensive eye examinations.
  • Talk to your doctor about ways to prevent congenital infections that may cause this condition.

Revision Information

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology

    http://www.aao.org

  • National Eye Institute

    http://www.nei.nih.gov

  • Canadian Association of Optometrists

    http://www.opto.ca

  • Canadian Ophthalmological Society

    http://www.eyesite.ca

  • Figueroa BG, Navas MP, Navas GA. Value of PCR for detection of Toxoplasma gondii in aqueous humor and blood samples from immunocompetent patients with ocular toxoplasmosis. J Clin Microbiol . 1999 Nov; 37(11):3465-8.

  • Lanzafame M, Trevenzoli M, Vento S, Parrinello A. Clinical picture: tuberculous chorioretinitis. Lancet . 2001;357(9266):1390.

  • Yang MB. Patient complains of blurry vision in right eye for 2 weeks. Ophthalmology Times . 1997;22(12):18-20.

  • 1/28/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Berrébi A, Assouline C, Bessières MH, et al. Long-term outcome of children with congenital toxoplasmosis. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010;203(6):552.e1-6.