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Author Topic: CMV - How common is blindness?  (Read 2424 times)

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Offline LiveStrongScott

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
CMV - How common is blindness?
« on: May 01, 2010, 12:22:27 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I was recently diagnosed with HIV/AIDS (CD4 39 / Viral 536,000) but am otherwise healthy. My doctor put me on Insentress and Truvada and expects an excellent response as my strain currently has zero resistance to all medications.

Question:
I found out today I have the CMV virus and have also (recently) been experiencing some vision problems. Pain in my eyes and a little bit of blurring. I'm wondering how often people go blind from this? I'm sort of freaking out because I haven't seen the eye doctor yet, although I have an appointment later today. My primary doctor blurted out "don't worry you won't go blind if we treat you now" but I'm thinking maybe she was trying to make me feel better.

It's been difficult finding statistics regarding blindness on the internet. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Thanks,
LiveStrongScott

Offline Alain

  • Member
  • Posts: 680
  • I am.
Re: CMV - How common is blindness?
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2010, 12:31:23 PM »
Welcome,

A large segment of the population are infected with CMV virus. You do not need to be HIV for that.

However in HIV patients, with CD4 count below the 50 mark, it might be a concern.

Glad that you are seeing the eye doctor today, which will tell you exactly if there is some damage to your vision.

Being newly diagnosed, I suspect that the symptoms you are describing, are from the side effects of your new drug regiment.

So your doctor is right in saying to try no to worry at this time.

Good luck with your results and keep us posted.

Offline newt

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  • the one and original newt
Re: CMV - How common is blindness?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2010, 01:06:09 PM »
Your doctor is right.

However, damage to the eyes from CMV is permanent.

There are no statistics on % who go blind because CMV retinitis is rare. But is is, deffo, a one-way trip.

It is possible, with a simple exam, to work out if the CMV virus is affecting your eyes, but this is an eminently treatable condition. The treatment for CMV is, as a rule, not pleasant, but perhaps worthwhile as a (hopefully) one-time experience.

There are many causes of blurred vision. So do not fret until you know what's what.

- matt


(Jesu Christo,  how old fashioned, an ice cream van just went past playing a jingle)
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline veritas

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,410
Re: CMV - How common is blindness?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2010, 03:51:46 PM »

Here is some info on cmv. A bit dated, however, still informative:

http://www.uveitissociety.org/pages/diseases/cmvr.html

v

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,218
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: CMV - How common is blindness?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2010, 04:44:37 PM »
Hello Scott,

Here's a lesson from this site on CMV.  Just click below ; About 6 pages to read :


http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/CMV_6768.shtml


But I am also with Matt.  " So do not fret until you know what's what. "



Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 8/2514,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 62 years young.

Offline skeebo1969

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,705
Re: CMV - How common is blindness?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2010, 10:58:28 PM »


   Scott,

     How old are you?  The reason I ask is because I also have CMV, and  I started having issues with blurry vision about 4 years ago.  I went to the eye doctor and made him aware of my situation (HIV & CMV).  Fortunately it was determined that I was suffering from nothing more than the effects of growing old.

    Definitely make an appointment with your eye doctor... 
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline randym431

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,125
Re: CMV - How common is blindness?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2010, 11:47:52 PM »
I'll add my 2 cents here...
My cousin got hiv back in the 80's before meds. He had CMV bad. Took IV's at home nightly to try to control it, but that did not really work. What happened is the CMV (as I understood him) caused his retina to pull away from the back of his inner eye. He said he often seen lightening-like images. Flashes of light. They tried laser to tack the retina back to the eye, but that did not work and he lost vision in first one eye, then the other. My cousin was really devastated with the effects of hiv. No meds were available then...
He was a walking stick person like we see in the WW II Hitler films.

But my cousin never gave up hope. One of the last things he had me do for him weeks before he died, was take him to the local blind institute to sign up for reading braille classes. They actually turned him down cause they said it was pointless to waste their time on him or any hiv people. He was all ready to sue them, and was mad as hell.

Anyway... as with so many OI's and hiv, starting meds usually will start your cd4 count to rise and combat the CMV, so I'd think you would not loose your vision once your body can restore its immune system. I too was diagnosed as CMV exposed but was told it was not active CMV. Just that I had once been exposed.
I had a few small KS spots when first diag in 2005 with my cd4 @ 85. But meds took care of that and the spots faded away. I'd think CMV would also come under control now that you have started meds. ?

Offline OneTampa

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,274
  • "Butterflies are free."
Re: CMV - How common is blindness?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2010, 11:57:40 AM »
I agree with what others have said.  Although I have a 702 CD4, I still have regular eye exams and the doctor includes a check for CMV.  You should follow your doctor's advice.
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline Billy B

  • Member
  • Posts: 374
Re: CMV - How common is blindness?
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2010, 12:28:58 PM »

   Scott,

     How old are you?  The reason I ask is because I also have CMV, and  I started having issues with blurry vision about 4 years ago.  I went to the eye doctor and made him aware of my situation (HIV & CMV).  Fortunately it was determined that I was suffering from nothing more than the effects of growing old.

    Definitely make an appointment with your eye doctor... 


I too thought that I was getting CMV, but my eye doctor said my blurred vision was from dry eyes and to much computer use!
Peace,
Billy
VL 4420 CD4 340 CD4% 24   3/15/10 Started I&T
VL  UD   CD4 340 CD4% 26.5 05/13/10
VL  UD   CD4 360 CD4% 27.1 08/3/10
VL  UD   CD4 310 CD4% 28.4 11/22/10
VL  UD   CD4 420 CD4% 27.9 02/11/11
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 26.4 06/08/11
VL  UD   CD4 360 CD4% 27.7 09/23/11
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 28.3 01/20/12
VL  UD   CD4 430 CD4% 28.8 05/11/12
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 28.1 09/07/12
VL  UD   CD4 390 CD4% 32.3 03/14/13

Offline SoSadTooBad

  • Member
  • Posts: 248
Re: CMV - How common is blindness?
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2010, 06:41:22 PM »
Scott, like you, I started treatment with a low CD4 count.  78, so not quite as low as yours, but down there.  I was terrified of going blind from CMV.  My doctor basically said what yours did - "start treatment, and you have nothing to worry about." 

He was right.  Almost 4 yours to the day since I had that conversation with him, and things are pretty good.  Decent CD4 count - around 450ish at last count, and generally healthy eyes.  You may see some floaters and blurred vision from starting meds, I know I did, but as long as you keep on top of things with the eye doctor, you should expect to do quite well and not lose your eyesight.

So, listen to your doctors, remain adherent to the meds and watch those counts climb!!

Offline Assurbanipal

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,173
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: CMV - How common is blindness?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2010, 07:41:42 PM »
Scott

Welcome to the forums, by the way (forgot to say that in your other thread  :-[ )

So how did your meeting with the doctor go?

A
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline madbrain

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  • No longer an active member
    • My personal site
Re: CMV - How common is blindness?
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2010, 03:41:58 PM »

I too thought that I was getting CMV, but my eye doctor said my blurred vision was from dry eyes and to much computer use!
Peace,
Billy

Same thing for me. I am positive for CMV. I do sometimes have a bit blurred vision. I spent 10+ hours on the computer every day. And have been for 15+ years. It does strain the eyes. Though I still have 20/20 in vision tests. All I was given for the blurriness was eye drops.

 


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