About Ocular Toxoplasmosis
Ocular toxoplasmosis is a disease that is caused by an infection with the protozoan (unicellular) parasite, Toxoplasma gondii. When the parasite infects the retina, it can cause inflammation and/or scarring that can lead to impaired vision. These symptoms can be short or long term; typically patients will experience blurry vision or floaters. Eye floaters are spots within the field of vision. When the microscopic fibers in the jelly-like vitreous clump up, it casts tiny shadows on the retina resulting in the appearance of black or gray specks. In many cases, individuals with toxoplasmosis display no signs or symptoms and are often unaware of the infection. Our board-certified retina specialist, Dr. Shalesh Kaushal, offers the latest treatment options for those suffering from this disease. Call or visit Comprehensive Retina Consultants in Ocala, FL to schedule an appointment today.
Causes and Symptoms
Ocular toxoplasmosis can either be acquired or congenital. With acquired toxoplasmosis, the parasite is usually transmitted when coming into contact with an infected animal. It can also be contracted by consuming raw meat. Household cats are often carriers as the parasite lives within the animal’s intestinal tract and can be present within the feces. Regular visits to the veterinarian are key in maintaining your and your pet’s health. Specific testing and antibiotics like clindamycin or sulfadiazine can help treat T. gondii. It’s also important to practice proper hygiene like washing hands after cleaning out a cat’s litter box or handling raw meat. Congenital ocular toxoplasmosis occurs when the disease is passed from mother to child during pregnancy.
Common symptoms include:
- Blurred vision
- Presence of floaters
- Mild fever
- Sore throat
- General discomfort or feelings of illness
- Muscle and/or joint pain
- Skin rash
- Swollen glands
"I have never been treated by a more competent, caring and knowledgeable physician since arriving in Florida 22 years ago. His caring and treatment exceeds any rating offered. Simply said, if you do not set an appointment with Dr. Kaushal, you are making a huge mistake. He has saved the vision in one eye and improved my eyesight beyond where it was many years ago. I was treated by him in Orlando, will definitely make the trip to his new location, and change my insurance plan, so that I can remain under his care. Thank you, Dr. Kaushal, for all that you have accomplished in treating the Wet Macular Degeneration in my eye."- C.G. / Healthgrades / Sep 28, 2019
"If you have an eye condition and want to preserve what vision you have then Dr. Kaushal and his staff are the best you can find anywhere. My family has been fortunate to know this doctor and benefit from his collaborative approach to medicine. Every patient is special to this group. We highly recommend."- P.O. / Google / Mar 20, 2019
"Excellent doctor on all levels. If u have any eye problems. This is the kindest, experienced, advance thinking doctor u will ever have."- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Mar 12, 2019
"He is the best there is he has treated me for almost a year.I don't mind waiting when I have the best doctor and he's out for my best interest and I've never had to wait more than 30 minutes so he's just an awesome doctor he's worth the wait trustI me ??"- S.T. / Google / Dec 04, 2018
"Dr Kaushal is highly knowledgeable and personable. I have trusted my vision to his excellent care for many years."- B.B. / Google / Nov 04, 2018
The diagnosis of ocular toxoplasmosis is typically made by an ophthalmologist during a comprehensive eye exam. Routine checkups are essential as they allow for signs and symptoms to be detected earlier than later. Blood tests are also commonly performed to check for the presence of T. gondii.
Treatment and Prognosis
In many cases, treatment is not necessary as the disease commonly clears up on its own. For those with mild to severe symptoms, antibiotics such as pyrimethamine or sulfadiazine are prescribed to reduce inflammation of the retina. Corticosteroids or medicated eye drops may also be administered to improve symptoms. Typically, there is an incubation period of 1 – 2 weeks before a patient recognizes signs of toxoplasma, but the recovery period with treatment will vary depending on the severity of the infection. The majority of patients experience a favorable prognosis.
Plan Your Procedure
Treat Ocular Toxoplasmosis
Our Florida practice offers several treatment options for those with ocular toxoplasmosis that can put you on track for a better prognosis. Dr. Kaushal and our team are dedicated to providing you with the best care possible and look forward to helping you feel better. Call our front office today to set up an appointment.