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Neuroretinitis is a disease that affects the outer retina and the retinal pigment epithelium. In most cases, neuroretinitis only affects one eye, though some people suffer damage in both eyes. Symptoms of this disease include loss of vision, optic disc inflammation and leakage, and retinal lesions. The precise cause of this disease is unknown, though some speculate that toxic excrement from different types of worms play a large part in causing this disease.
This disease is a progressive one that slowly damages the eye. The early stage of the disease has certain telltale signs associated with it. Slight visual loss, eye pain, small clots referred to as "floaters," and an infected eye area are all part of the early stage. The late stage of neuroretinitis usually involves total loss of vision.
Neuroretinitis cannot always be detected by the naked eye. In some cases, an eye exam is the only way to uncover the symptoms of this disease. A full eye exam must be performed before neuroretinitis can be confirmed. Any person suffering from eye pain or loss of vision should visit with an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
In Latin America, the Caribbean, and the southeastern United States, one species of worm has been identified as being the main cause of this ocular disease. This larval worm known as Ancylostoma canium frequently causes eye irritation and infection. In the north midwestern portion of the United States, a different kind of worm known as Baylisascaris procyonis is thought to be linked to neuroretinitis.
Laser photocoagulation of the nematode is often the treatment that most medical experts prescribe. This form of laser surgery effectively eliminates any worms that remain inside of the eye area. In most cases, the disease does not continue to progress once worms are destroyed. In other cases, a patient's vision is restored, though this only occurs if the disease is detected early enough.
Another treatment option includes surgical invasion in the form of transvitreal removal of the nematode. As with laser surgery, this treatment must be given to a patient as soon as possible. In many instances, patients that undergo invasive surgery retain eyesight. As with most other eye diseases, the best way to combat this disease is to ensure early detection. This is precisely why all people should have an annual eye examination. While little is known about neuroretinitis, medical experts are confident that this disease can be stopped in its tracks through proper treatment measures.