Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By damaging your immune system, HIV interferes with your body’s ability to fight infection and disease.
According to Mayoclinic, HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can also be spread by contact with infected blood and from illicit injection drug use or sharing needles. It can also be spread from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. Without medication, it may take years before HIV weakens your immune system to the point that you have AIDS.
There’s no cure for HIV/AIDS, but medications can control the infection and prevent progression of the disease. Antiviral treatments for HIV have reduced AIDS deaths around the world, and international organizations are working to increase the availability of prevention measures and treatment in resource-poor countries.
HIV Effects on the Eyes
Some eye problems are mild, but others can be severe enough to cause blindness. Some of the most common are infections that can lead to bleeding in your retina (the tissue at the back of your eye) and retinal detachment. About 7 in 10 people with untreated AIDS will have AIDS-related trouble with their eyes, usually because of cytomegalovirus.
You may not have any symptoms until the problems are far along, so if you have advanced HIV, it’s important to get regular eye exams. Call your doctor if your vision changes, if:
1. You get blurry or double vision.
2. Colors don’t look right.
3. You see spots.
4. You have watery or red eyes.
5. You’re sensitive to light.
6. Your eyes hurt.
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