What Black People Should Know About HIV and Eye Conditions

hiv_eye_symptoms_african_americanAlthough many people diagnosed with HIV go on to live very long lives because of treatment, the disease is still a health epidemic, particularly for African Americans, who currently account for 44% of all new HIV diagnoses.

One of the warning signs/symptoms to look out for when infected with HIV is failing eye health. The following are four eye conditions (the four F’s) that affect people with HIV: 

  • Failing, or blurred, vision
  • Floaters, or floating spots
  • Flashes of light
  • Field defects, or blind spots

Persons infected with HIV may also experience dry eye symptoms, double vision, eye pain and redness. A condition called CMV retinitis, a complicated eye infection, occurs in about 20 to 30 percent of people with AIDS.

One of the complications that can result from CMV is a detached retina. When this occurs, the retina pulls itself away from the back of the eye. Since the retina receives light and converts the light into neural signals to be sent to the brain for visual recognition, a detached retina can result in severe vision loss.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing any of these eye conditions, while they may not be related to HIV, there is a possibility that they are, so get tested. If you have already been diagnosed with HIV, an annual thorough eye examination is strongly recommended.

Disclaimer: The content of this article should not be substituted for medical advice.

By: Danielle Dixon

Follow her on Twitter: @tooprettydani


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