Ophthalmology Procedures

Presumed Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome (POHS) Treatment in Chicago, IL

An Ocular Histoplasmosis diagnosis can be an alarming discovery. The dedicated staff, and experienced doctors at the Kraff Eye Institute in Chicago, are here to guide you through your diagnosis and treatment.

What Is Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome (OHS)?

Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome

Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome (OHS) is an eye condition that often develops in individuals who also have a lung infection called histoplasmosis. The infection can move from the lungs to the eyes, leading to vision loss. Often, people who have histoplasmosis are not even aware that they have it. People who have lived in places where histoplasmosis is common, such as the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys, should share that information with their doctor and discuss screening for OHS.

What Are Ocular Histoplasmosis Symptoms And How Is It Diagnosed?

Most people with presumed ocular histoplasmosis (POHS) never experience any symptoms. As the disease progresses, your eye doctor may see histo spots in the eyes during the dilated portion of your eye exam. Ocular histoplasmosis syndrome symptoms may include:

  • A blind spot in the eye
  • Straight lines that start to appear crooked or wavy

Your doctor will dilate your pupils with eye drops during your eye exam, these drops will enlarge your pupils allowing your doctor to examine the back part of the eye, called the retina. A test called fluorescein angiography may also be done. During this test, a special dye is injected into a vein in your arm, the dye will then travel to the blood vessels of your retina, letting your doctor see any histo spots in the eyes.

Types Of Ocular Histoplasmosis Treatment

Many people with POHS do not require any treatment. For those who are experiencing vision losses, there are 2 effective treatment options available. Both are outpatient procedures, so it won't be necessary to stay the night at the hospital. These treatments include:

  • Injections: Medicines known as anti-VEGF drugs can be used to keep ocular histoplasmosis symptoms from getting worse, and may even improve vision.
  • Laser Surgery: Your doctor can use a laser to prevent abnormal blood vessels formed by ocular histoplasmosis from leaking, growing, or bleeding into the retina.

LASIK POHS Treatment

POHD LASIK treatment

The laser used for histoplasmosis treatment is different from the one used for Lasik laser treatment. The laser used for Lasik vision correction is used on the front part of the eye called the cornea. The laser used for histoplasmosis treatment is used on the back of the eye, called the retina. Laser treatment for histoplasmosis will not correct for refractive errors.

POHD Steroid Injections

Your doctor may recommend steroid injections to combat inflammation in the eye caused by the swelling associated with histoplasmosis. This will not cure ocular histoplasmosis however,  it can slow down the progression of the condition allowing the patient to preserve their vision and maintain their quality of life.

Anti-VEFG Injections

Anti-VEGF injections block the chemical called vascular endothelial growth factor. This chemical causes abnormal blood vessels to grow under the retina, causing blurred vision.

The anti-VEGF drug is administered directly to the eye by an eye doctor. This procedure can significantly slow vision loss, and in some cases, even improve vision.

Schedule Your Ocular Histoplasmosis Treatment Consultation

If you have been diagnosed with, or are concerned about Ocular histoplasmosis and would like to discuss possible treatments, schedule a consultation with one of our experienced doctors today.

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Common Causes of POHS

The lung infection that causes POHS happens when people breathe in spores from a fungus called Histoplasmosis capsulatum. This fungus is often found in soil that has bird or bat droppings in it. Plowing a field or digging a hole can stir up the fungus. It can also happen if you spend a lot of time near a chicken coop. These activities make it possible to breathe in the fungus. There is no research that has determined how the fungus travels from the lungs to the back of the eyes.

Who’s at Risk of Developing Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome?

Anyone can contract histoplasmosis and POHS, if they’ve been to an area where histoplasma fungus lives. Histoplasma is particularly prevalent in central and eastern parts of the United States, like near the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys. Many people who live in these areas are often not even aware that they have histoplasmosis in the eye. Certain groups are at higher risk of having histoplasmosis turn into POHS including:

  • People with weakened immune systems, such as people living with HIV/AIDS and people taking certain medications
  • Babies
  • Adults over the age of 55

Reviews For POHS Treatment Services At Kraff Eye, Chicago


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LASIK Cost in Chicago

How Much Does Laser Treatment for OHS Cost?

Major medical insurance will cover a portion of histoplasmosis eye treatment. If you have a secondary insurance, those will often pick up the remaining balance. Otherwise, the patient is responsible for the balance following the treatment. The exact cost will be discussed when you meet with your doctor and they recommend the treatment that is best for you.

Financial Options

The Kraff Eye Institute is a proud partner of CareCredit, America's top patient payment program. CareCredit allows you to start your vision care treatment, then pay for it at your convenience.

About Our POHS Treatment Specialists

With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Colman Kraff is committed to providing the highest quality of care, along with the most effective treatment options for his patients. Dr. Kraff is committed to utilizing the most up to date technology, allowing him to offer his patients a high level of success, along with the highest level of safety.

Schedule Your Histoplasmosis Consultation

Schedule a complete eye exam today, to begin the treatment of your Ocular Histoplasmosis.

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Ocular Histoplasmosis FAQ

How to prevent ocular histoplasmosis?

Expand F.A.Q.

If you have a histoplasmosis risk factor, you should avoid certain activities including:

  • Exploring caves
  • Going into or near chicken coops
  • Working with soil that may contain bird or bat poop

If you know you have histoplasmosis in your lungs, you may not be able to prevent it from spreading to your eyes. Regular eye exams are crucial to early diagnosis.

What is the impact of POHS on my vision?

Expand F.A.Q.

The prognosis of OHS is excellent. It is important to have regular eye exams and to monitor the central vision, using an Amsler Grid. Early treatment when required, usually results in a better outcome. Often, injections can improve vision.