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Histoplasmosis starts as a lung infection. Doctors think that the infection, even if mild, can later move to the eye through the blood stream. Once in the eye it can cause a serious eye disease called presumed ocular histoplasmosis syndrome (POHS). POHS is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans ages 20 to 40. Histoplasmosis Symptoms
Ocular histoplasmosis is a disease of the eye that is caused by infection from the histoplasma capsulatum spore.
Ocular histoplasmosis generally requires no treatment. Although it is a disease caused by a fungus, antifungal medications are not useful. OHS causes scars to form inside the eye, but no active fungal infection is present in the eye.
What is Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome? The ocular histoplasmosis syndrome is thought to be caused by a tiny, plantlike organism called histoplasmacapsulatum. This organism thrives in areas contaminated by fowl and bat waste (i.e. damp soil, chicken coops and barns).
Nevertheless, histoplasmosis, even mild cases, can later cause a major eye disease called ocular histoplasmosis syndrome (OHS), a leading cause of vision loss in Americans ages 20 to 40. What Causes Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome
It may affect the eye by causing small areas of inflammation and scarring of the retina, the light sensing tissue at the back of the eye. When the damage involves the central retina, distortion or blurriness of the central vision may occur. The most important step in accurately diagnosing ocular histoplasmosis is a careful eye exam.