Acute retinal necrosis (patient information)
Acute retinal necrosis
Acute retinal necrosis On the Web
For the WikiDoc page for this topic, click here
Acute retinal necrosis is an inflammation of the eye, specifically the retina in the eye, that results in the deterioration of retinal tissue. It is caused by viral infection and results in eye pain, redness, and vision problems. It is important to seek treatment for Acute retinal necrosis immediately, as it can lead to complications such as brain inflammation, blindness, and meningitis.
- Eye pain
- Redness in the eye
- Vision problems
- Experiencing flu-like symptoms in conjunction with the above
- Herpes simplex virus (HSV) 1 & 2
- Varicella-zoster virus (VZV)
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
- Epstein-Barr (EPB) infection
Who is at highest risk?
Acute retinal necrosis most often affects those with weakened immune systems, including those suffering from HIV, Diabetes, Chickenpox, Shingles, and Mono. This is particularly the case for those with diseases from the same viruses responsible for Acute retinal necrosis.
- Analysis of liquid from the eye to obtain a live culture or evidence of the viral cause.
- Laboratory tests to determine if the body is producing antibodies indicative of fighting off a specific virus.
- Imaging techniques, including CT and MRI scans, to confirm suspected signs of ARN.
When to seek urgent medical care?
You should seek urgent medical care if you are experiencing the following:
Treatment is primarily antiviral therapies targeted to the viral cause, including those administered directly onto the eye as well as injected into the bloodstream. Surgical procedures may be performed if the Acute retinal necrosis case leads to complications.
Preventing acute retinal necrosis involves avoiding contact with individuals infected with the viral causes:
- Avoiding mouth-to-mouth contact
- Avoiding sexual contact
- Spending as little time as possible near individuals with chickenpox to avoid breathing contaminated air
- Avoiding contact with infected fluids
- Washing hands frequently
- Not sharing food or drinks
What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?
Without treatment, Acute retinal necrosis can lead to dangerous complications that can be life-threatening, including brain inflammation and meningitis. Permanent partial or total vision loss is likely without treatment due to the erosion and detachment of the retina of the eye. With treatment, there is a much greater chance of preserving eyesight and preventing life-threatening complications.
There is presently no guaranteed cure to reverse the symptoms; prognosis is improved the earlier the disease is diagnosed and treated with antiviral medication.
- Retinal detachment: The thin layer of light-sensitive tissue that is crucial for vision may come unattached, causing vision loss
- Brain inflammation
- Permanent damage to the eye nerve
- Shrinking of the eye