Chelsea Eye & Cosmetic Surgery Associates, will continue to strive
for excellence in the treatment of HIV related eye
care and is actively recruiting patients for studies
of the effect of HIV on LASIK and cosmetic surgery
procedures. Drs. Coad and Eviatar recently presented
the first study demonstrating that LASIK is safe
in patients living with HIV. Dr. Coad has published
several papers and lectured extensively on the subject
of HIV and AIDS-related eye disorders. AIDS, which
stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, is
a disease that affects the body's immune system which
helps fight sickness. HIV, Human Immunodeficiency
Virus, is a virus which attacks many of the cells
in the body. HIV especially attacks white blood cells
called lymphocytes. One special kind of lymphocyte
is known as the T-cell.
Cotton Wool Spots are the most common eye problem
for people with AIDS. AIDS can cause minor bleeding
and white spots in the retina. The white spots are
referred to as "cotton wool spots" because
of their appearance.
CMV Retinitis is a serious infection of the retina
that is caused by the cytomegalovirus (CMV). In the
past, about 20-30% of people with AIDS had CMV. With
retroviral therapy, these numbers are much lower
today. Most infections occur when the number of T-cells
gets dangerously low (usually 40). Since T-cell counts
can rise and fall quickly, a person with HIV should
have an ophthalmologic examination every 3 months
when their T-cell count is below 250. CMV can permanently
impair vision. Seek medical treatment immediately
if you experience any of the following symptoms:
spots or "Spider webs"
spots or blurred vision
Occasionally CMV causes the retina to separate
from the back of the eye. This retinal detachment
can result in permanent visual loss and requires
Eye infections, which cause the eyes to appear
red, are common in AIDS patients and can last for
prolonged periods of time.
Kaposi's sarcoma is a tumor that appears as purple-red
spots that can appear as a bump on the eyelid or
a spot on the white part of the eye. These tumors
grow slowly and can be surgically removed.
While HIV can be detected in the tears of people
with AIDS, no cases of AIDS have ever been reported
from tear contact. Ophthalmologists are especially
careful in cleaning their lenses and instruments
that come into contact with tears.