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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A medical warning-

Recently, when driving, I would notice that as telephone poles passed me on the right side, they would wiggle, twist, and bend in my peripheral vision. The would be straight if I looked directly at them, but usually there were distortions to the side. So I went to the eye doctor.

Initially, they thought that the distortions were caused by the natural aging process. I'm 32, and at that age the vitrious fluid in the eye is transforming from a gel to a liquid. They thought this transformation barrier was causing the distortions. However, they noticed some white lesions on my retina, so they did a florescent angiogram. Basically, they put an IV in your arm, and pump in a vegetable based dye that is used to take a picture of the inside of your eye, mapping the blood vessels. That's when the discovered the damage. I have a large blind spot in my right eye, just to the right of center. This is caused by a bug in the soil and water of the Mid-West and Ohio Valley. It's called histoplasmosis. There is nothing you can do to detect this, nor is there a cure. Some 80% of the people in this geographic region have been exposed.

The virus starts out as a cold, but can migrate to other parts of the body. In the eye, it causes blood vessels to grow abnormally, and this destroys the retina.

I was lucky in that my damage is not on the macula, the center of the retina. Had it been there, I would be completely blind in my right eye now. As it is, the damage is not repairable. It can be stopped from spreading by laser coagulation, but never repaired. I have to daily look at a grid, a white center square, black background, and white lines. I see distortions where the lines could be straight. Again, this can never be fixed, and could get worse. There is no prevention.

Why all this on a biker forum? I'd hate to see anyone lose their vision and not be able to enjoy this sport. This creeps up on you without you even noticing. I've always had perfect vision, better than 20/20. Now that I know the damage is there, I see it all the time. Really irritates me. My blind spot is bad enough that if I look down and to the left when driving at night, and close my left eye, I cannot even seen oncoming headlights until they are just about to pass me. Just FYI.

Scary.
 

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Thanks for the info.

My family tells me I have had a blind spot for years. :D

I hope that blind spot doesn't affect your everyday work.

Ride Safe
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, it's in your area too. If you happen to notice weird things going on in your peripheral vision, get in to see an eye doctor right away. Not trying to make anyone paranoid, just aware.
 

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Thought this might be helpful.......


What is histoplasmosis?

Histoplasmosis is a disease caused by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. Its symptoms vary greatly, but the disease primarily affect the lungs. Occasionally, other organs are affected. This form of the disease is called disseminated histoplasmosis, and it can be fatal if untreated.

Can anyone get histoplasmosis?

Yes. Positive histoplasmin skin tests occur in as many as 80% of the people living in areas where H. capsulatum is common, such as the eastern and central United States. Infants, young children, and older persons, in particular those with chronic lung disease are at increased risk for severe disease. Disseminated disease is more frequently seen in people with cancer or AIDS.

How is someone infected with H. capsulatum?

H. capsulatum grows in soil and material contaminated with bat or bird droppings. Spores become airborne when contaminated soil is disturbed. Breathing the spores causes infection. The disease is not transmitted from an infected person to someone else.

What are the symptoms of histoplasmosis?

Most infected persons have no apparent ill effects. The acute respiratory disease is characterized by respiratory symptoms, a general ill feeling, fever, chest pains, and a dry or nonproductive cough. Distinct patterns may be seen on a chest x-ray. Chronic lung disease resembles tuberculosis and can worsen over months or years. The disseminated form is fatal unless treated.

When do symptoms start?

If symptoms occur, they will start within 3 to 17 days after exposure; the average is 10 days.

Is histoplasmosis treatable?

Yes. Antifungal medications are used to treat severe cases of acute histoplasmosis and all cases of chronic and disseminated disease. Mild disease usually resolves without treatment. Past infection results in partial protection against ill effects if reinfected.
 
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