Retinal Lesions Linked to Zika Virus
We know that the Zika virus is linked to microcephaly – a birth defect resulting in smaller brain and head size – but new research suggests this virus may be linked to vision disorders in infants as well.
Findings published in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, suggest that 1/3rd of the babies who have been impacted by the Zika virus show signs of eye problems including:
- Retinal lesions
- Optic nerve abnormalities
- Chorioretinal atrophy
- Abnormal blood vessel development
In addition to these issue, some of the babies included in this study have developed pigmentary maculopathy, marked by lesions on the macula. Tragically, these issues may lead to a permanent loss of vision in these children.
While most cases of the Zika virus have occurred in Brazil, the CDC warns that it is only a matter of time before the virus spreads. To help reduce your risks of contracting the virus, it is necessary to prevent mosquito bites. This can be accomplished by wearing long sleeves and pants, taking steps to control mosquitos in your home, and using a bug repellant when going outside. For more information on avoiding mosquito bites, visit the CDC’s Zika Prevention page.
There is currently no treatment for Zika-related vision disorders, but there are solutions for many of the most common causes of blindness. If you are experiencing any changes in your vision, please contact California Retina Associates online or by calling our Chula Vista office at (619) 425-7755 or our El Centro office at (760) 352-7755 to schedule an examination today.