Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome: The Science Versus the Experience

SerendipUpdate's picture

Biology 103
2002 First Paper
On Serendip

Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome: The Science Versus the Experience

MaryBeth Curtiss

Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome is a growth in abnormal blood cells under the retina induced by exposure to a particular kind of histo fungus. Though the manifestation of this syndrome in the eyes is rare, a significant portion of the population has been exposed to this fungus. As the syndrome develops, the part of the retina responsible for close, sharp vision deteriorates and eventually, without treatment this can become complete blindness aside from peripheral vision.

It is extremely rare that the histo fungus affects the eyes. It is most common that the fungus manifests itself in the lungs, thus creating a lung infection that appears like tuberculosis (3). This infection, unlike the ocular infection, is easily treatable with an anti-fungal prescribed medication. Though fungal infections from Histoplasma capsulatum are more unusual in the eyes than the lungs, OHS is the most common cause of blindness in adults aged 20 to 40 (5). On the contrary, when the fungus reaches the eyes, the damage is irreversible and often difficult to detect and diagnose.

This progression, however, is not readily detectible in a routine eye check-up and requires a specific test involving close examination and pupil dilation. The examiner can, however, detect damage to the macula, or the central part of the retina, by presenting the patient with an "Amsler grid" and judging how the patient sees it and if the patient's vision has been affected (2). The examiner may also notice tiny histo spots or swelling of the retina(1). Once the disease has begun to develop, it is only treatable through surgical means, more specifically, laser photocoagulation of the retina cells (2). This recoagulation process only prevents future vision loss and does not correct what has already been lost. This surgery s also only effective if the eye's fovea has not been damaged and only if the surgeon is able to eliminate all destructive cells in the retina (2).

Such was the progression of the disease in my uncle's eyes about ten years ago. His histoplasmosis went undetected and eventually grew into partial blindness. However, my uncle's experience defied the typical progression in some ways. Firstly, the destructive cells were never detected, though he regularly visited an eye doctor. The deterioration continued until it again defied the typified OHS case, and he became completely blind in his right eye. Generally, the histo cells only affect the center of the retina, the macula (1). In addition, the laser photocoagulation surgery did not stop the progression of blindness, but delayed it. Like common cases of ocular histoplasmosis, he did retain peripheral vision in his left eye. My uncle, however also defied the odds of OHS sufferers, and, though he had some of the most extensive progression of the infection, continued to live his life the way he always had. He became an active, and often victorious member of our local Blind Golfers Association and continued to play basketball, watch sports, read as best he could, and compete in his gym's activities.

Doctors later speculated that the histo fungus could have been picked up in any of Bud's travels, through the "Histo Belt" through the central United States, or many years earlier in his travels to China and Japan. Though his travels in Asia were many years earlier, some of the doctors have suggested that the fungal cells could have remained dormant through the years until they surfaced in the early 90s. This incubation period is much different from that of the lung affliction, as this infection's symptoms appear within two weeks (4). Research and information is constantly changing concerning our understanding of histoplasmosis, when my uncle was first diagnosed, much of the information he was given was speculative and the surgery he received was still experimental.

Researching histo fungus, histoplasmosis, and ocular histoplasmosis syndrome raised more questions than provided answers. Why the difference in symptoms? Why the difference in time for symptoms? Why the eyes and lungs? Why are the lungs easily treatable and the eyes so difficult? One thing we may conclude, however is that everyone should be tested for this infection, as it is the most common cause of blindness for young and middle-aged adults and incurable, but easily delayed.



1) Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome, Useful for a general overview

2) Effectiveness of Laser Surgery, Procedure and statistics

3) Frequently Asked Questions, Information on the lung infection

4) Frequently Asked Questions, More general iformation

5) Histoplasmosis, Some new information



Comments made prior to 2007

The only treatment that has been able to arrest the scarring in my eyes is to take predisone tablets up to 50mg the first three days and then taper off. I had one retinal specialist advice me to not take this medication when I could see changes but he could not see the reactivity. I didn't use the medicene for a month and suffered more distruction of my macula and bindness around my left eye's blind spot. Finally I just started taking the medicene a former doctor had given me and immediately started seeing improvement. I have had about six reoccurances since 1968. I am 57. Even though prenisone is a potentially dangerous drug, I have to take it when the histo reactivates. It reactivates when I get really stressed. I continue daily to work on destressing my life. Most of the damage is in my left eye, but I have two small spots in my right eye. My right blind spot has some damage around it, but not as bad as the left eye. My blind spot in my left eye is as large as one-third of this paper. Maybe this info will be helpful to someone ... Loretta Taylor, 17 April 2006


mary rosenfield's picture

POHS and the covid vaccine

Has anyone had a flare up due to getting the covid vaccine? Vaccines always cause false ups for me

Allie's picture

Recently diagnosed

I am 43, and I was diagnosed with POHS the end of August. Apparently I was told about the histo spots on my eyes about 7 years ago but I don't recall that. Anyway, my kids and I had just moved back to Ohio after 3 1/2 years in WV, and I noticed a distorted/blurry/blind spot in my right eye in mid-August. Have spots in both eyes but so far the ones in left eye are dormant. I went to the optometrist on 8/27 who after doing an exam told me he though it was POHS and was going to refer me to a retina specialist. I went to the specialist two days later, on 8/29, and he confirmed that it was POHS. That day I had a sample shot of Lucentis (my insurance was not yet active) and I just went last week on 10/3 for my first shot of Avastin. At last week's visit they took pictures to compare to the first set of pictures they took at my first visit. The swelling had decreased quite a bit and the blind spot was gone, and my vision had improved from 20/400 to 20/70, 20/32 with the pinholes. That was very encouraging. I however still have distortion in my eye and cannot see straight. The nurse explained to me that the distortion is because of the leaking, and when the leak gets dried up the distortion should go away. I go back 11/7 for my second shot of Avastin and I am anxious to see/hear how my eye has responded. The specialist advised me to go ahead and get new glasses, and I have an appointment the end of this month with my optometrist. I am still driving and working, although driving is very scary because I can't focus and I only drive when I have to and rarely at night. I am a single mom and I am terrified. I know the success rate of the injections is very high but I am still scared. This has totally changed everything, and I have become anxious and depressed, and have just started to experience insomnia. I would love to hear from others who are fighting this disease about your experiences.

Rebecca Geiger's picture


I hope I can give you some hope. I had the injections for 6 months and they did work. I have a permanent blind spot in the center of my right eye, however, it was small enough that my brain eventually adapted and I can't even tell there is a blind spot there. I don't know if your blind spots are worse than mine. I dont know if the same thing will happen to you. But there is hope that with continued shots and time your vision will improve. My blind spot is still there but I cannot tell. I hope this helps. Keep getting the shots even if they are scary and expensive. And if you are still very nervous try going to another retinal specialist. It might give you more information and at the very least ease some of your worry.


Allie's picture


Thank you Rebecca, that is encouraging. I currently do not have any blind spots, just the distortion. Do you have distortion or just the blind spot? How long ago was your treatment? Have you only had one occurance? So far I have responded well to the injections and pray that I continue to do so. I just wish I could figure out how to stop the insomnia. I can go to sleep, I just always end up waking up around 2 or 3 AM and then struggling to go back to sleep. Thank you again for your response. Please feel free to continue communicating.

Rebecca Geiger's picture

When OHS first occurred I had

When OHS first occurred I had distortion and a blind spot. My treatment was about 2 years ago and I have not had any further treatment. I have only had the one occurrence. I am hoping to never experience the eye injections again; however, I will again if it is necessary to save my vision. I never experienced insomnia - but I did experience severe anxiety over the situation. Hopefully your insomnia goes away as time goes by and your stress goes down. It is good you do not have any blind spots. My distortion went away after several injections.

Allie's picture

That’s encouraging

That’s where I am now - I just have the distortion, and my specialist told me it may go away and it may not. This is the really hard part for me as I get so frustrated with not being able to see straight, and I work at a computer and right now I have to wear an eye patch so I can focus on my screens. You said your distortion went away after several injections. Did it take the entire 6 months of shots before it did? I think a lot of my anxiety is the fact that we are into fall and winter is coming; I worry about driving with the distortion in bad weather. I thank you for your responses and answering my questions as your experience is very encouraging. If I can ask, where do you live? Were you just diagnosed 2 years ago?

Rebecca Geiger's picture

I honestly do not remember

I honestly do not remember how long it took the distortion to go away. It was definitely under a year. Six months maybe. I was diagnosed in 2014 when I lived in Louisiana. However, I was living in southern Ohio when I contracted ocular histoplasmosis. I live in Indiana now. I have talked to some of the locals about histoplasmosis and they said when they were in K-12 they had to get a vaccine for it. It seems this is preventable. However, I was not raised in the histo belt so my family did not know about the vaccine.

Allie's picture

I was born and raised in

I was born and raised in Ohio, but I had never heard of histoplasmosis until my eye went bad in August. Wow, that’s a long time to wait for the distortion to clear. Did your vision return to normal, except for the blind spot? How did you cope? Did you still drive? I’ve noticed a slight improvement in my distortion but not enough that I can work without my eye patch on. I’ve now noticed a little blind spot in my good eye and I am going to my optometrist today to have it checked. It isn’t in my direct line of sight but I still want to have it looked at. So far I’ve managed to cope by praying a lot, talking and texting with a good friend, and lots of hugs and cuddles from my kids. Thank you for sharing your experience with me.

Serendip Visitor's picture

My vision returned to normal.

My vision returned to normal. No distortion now. I can't even tell I have a blind spot. I coped by researching and talking to doctors and family about it. I still drive and have 20/20 vision with my glasses on. I had to cover my eye with my hand for the first couple months when driving or working on a computer. I don't have to do that anymore.

I was also born and raised in Ohio, the northeast. I had never heard of histoplasmosis or the vaccine till after my vision was damaged. Keep up with your eye appointments. I hope your distortion goes away sooner rather than later.

Allie's picture

Rebecca how did you cope with

Rebecca how did you cope with the distortion?! It’s driving me crazy. How did you not let it get to you? I’ve been trying to seek counseling services but have not been able to get into one yet. Please respond, and thank you.

Rebecca Geiger's picture

Feel free to look me up on

Feel free to look me up on Facebook if you would like to communicate more directly. I understand how scary changes to your vision can be.

Rebecca Geiger's picture


I was prescribed and anti-anxiety medication. It was a light, low dose one that I could not feel the effects of; however, it did reduce the anxiety I was feeling due to my medical issues. Counseling is a good route to take. I found it much faster to speak with my family doctor about depression and anxiety issues I was facing at the time. From my experience, setting up counseling will take weeks to months. It is beneficial, just not immediately so. While you are waiting to set up counseling I would see your family practitioner.

Allie's picture

I don’t have a family doctor

I don’t have a family doctor here yet; we hadn’t been here long enough for me to get established. I was able to meet with a counselor yesterday, and I go back in two weeks for another session. She said I’d have to have 2 sessions before they would consider prescribing meds. I figure it would take about that long to get into a doctor so I’ll just wait the 2 weeks and hopefully they’ll put me on something. I searched for you on Facebook but there’s quite a few Rebecca Geigers on there. I’m gonna send a request to the one I think is you. Thank you.

Allie's picture

It’s vert encouraging that

It’s vert encouraging that your distortion went away and your vision returned to normal. I know that doesn’t mean it will happen for me but I am praying that it does. Apparently the blind spot I noticed in my left eye is normal; optometrist said everyone has a natural blind spot. We don’t normally notice them but I did while checking my eyes with the Amsler. That was a relief. He went ahead and did my eye exam yesterday and I got to order new glasses, which I definitely need and I’m sure will help a lot, especially with driving. I don’t cover my eye when I drive (current glasses are outdated so didn’t think it was a good idea to cover the eye) but I am still wearing the eye patch when I work. Hoping new glasses will help with that, too. I go back to the specialist on Nov 7th for 3rd shot and check up. Really hoping for more good news. I still worry about the distortion and the possibility that it won’t get any better.... although nothing I can do about that, but it’s only been two months and 2 shots so I’ve got a little ways to go yet. Like you, I hope to never have to do this again but will if need be. I still have pretty high anxiety and some depression, and still have trouble sleeping. This time of year doesn’t help either. Thanks again for responding and please feel free to continue. Every little bit helps

Christine S's picture

OHS and Nerve Pain

I have had NERVE PAIN since 16 and at 22 years old I woke up with blurred vision in my left eye. I was diagnosed with Optic Neuritis. I saw the same Opthamologist for about 3 years and he almost dismissed me, even though my vision was deteriorating. I decided to seek someone else. I was told I had OSH. He showed me a picture of my eye and it looks just like the pictures online. I am terrified I will be entirely blind in my left eye. I have too many people who depend on me!!!!

Anyways, my question is this, DOES ANYONE WITH OSH ALSO HAVE NERVE PAIN?

My symptoms as follows:

-shooting pains (random areas, feels like hot stabbing knives, 5-15 seconds)
-deep, burning numbness in arms and legs
-sunburn feeling on skin or on scalp
-continuous sore muscles, mostly in back
-joint pain

I have been searching an answer for 15 years. I feel like Drs think its in my head... I need someone to say "ME TOO" eventually.

PAM's picture

response to nerve pain

YES! shooting pains (random areas, feels like hot stabbing knives, 5-15 seconds),
-deep, burning numbness in arms and legs
-sunburn feeling on skin or on scalp
-continuous sore muscles, mostly in back
-joint pain

I have most all of the above. I don't have the sunburn feeling but I have intense scalp sensitivity. If I comb my hair differently, there is pain/soreness

I also have nerve pain in legs, toes and hands and I do have Raynauds Phenomenon

James Rives's picture

History spots in both eyes past 20 years

I have been fighting bleeding from presumed histo spots in both eyes for 20 years. I am currently 69 years old. The spot in my right eye bled first and was on the edge of the center of vision. I am probably a poster boy for the advances in treatment as I have had hot and cold lazer, long term prednisone, and countless injections. I have experienced three good eye surgeons over this time period including one at Mayos clinic and two in my home community. Treatment has been timely and aggressive when needs. My left eye spot is away from the center of vision and one Lazer treatment about 19 years ago arrested it. My right eye spot has needed constant treatment but seems to be improving the past year. One reason may be that I retired from a very stressful work situation. I did not realize until the past year or two that stress was a contributing factor or I might have retired years ago. I did not realize until finding this site today that arthritis may have a connection as well. My problem with arthritis are growing considerably. I am also a Vietnam veteran and am reading that their may even be a connection to the 14 months I spent in that country. I have read that vietnam has a high rate of histo among the Asian countries. I would be curious if there are other vietnam veterans on this site. Thanks

Pam's picture


Hello, everyone! I have really enjoyed reading everyone experience with this syndrome. It has given me much support. I went on FB to find the site but could not find a FB page. If indeed there is one, please let me know. I have been diagnosed with ocular histo for about 30 years and up until this year on thanksgiving I really did not have any trouble. But on Thanksgiving I ended up in the ER due to bad headache, flashing lights and severe floaters. Of course, they rules out a stroke and a retinal tear and sent me home as having an ocular migraine. Since then I have found out from a retinal specialist that My histo spots in the right eye have activated. I have 3 spots very very close to the macula. She put me on durezol but did not say how long I should take them. I then went to another retinal specialist and he said also to continue them for a month more. Now that I am off them, I have pain in the eye and not good vision. I live and work in the DC area which is extremely stressful...traffic, lifestyle, job, etc. I live alone and have no family/support up here. I am trying to find some research that clearly demonstrates that flashing lights, stress due to driving/work aggravate the situation so that I can demonstrate to my boss that I must avoid any stressful situations. This may allow me to work from home more. I REALLY REALLY NEED THAT. It is just too stressful up here and before taking a month off recently, I was in such adrenal fatigue that I was so tired that I could barely even plug in a light. I am a 57 year old, very healthy eater, certified yoga teacher, practice qigong, etc. but still the stress up here is just too much and has taken a toll on my health. Does anyone know of any research that has been done to prove that stress, flashing lights, driving, etc (all of which aggravate my stress, thus eyes) affect ocular histoplasmosis? PLEASE LET ME KNOW. By the way, I also have histo spots on my lungs and have been diagnosed with COPD, Raynauds Syndrome and I too have arthritic symptoms. THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR ANY HELP YOU CAN PROVIDE.


Rashelle Murray's picture

Fb page for suppprt

Did you find fb page for support?

Lee Kieke's picture

Ocular histoplasmosis

Stress is a major no no with ocular histoplasmosis. You have to find ways to stay calm and unstressed. I've been getting shots off and on over the last 10 year, as a matter of fact just received one today. Last year I had breast cancer removed and chemo. The histo stayed dormant the entire time. Few months ago I had detaching of the jelly like substance behind my eye, but not the retina. Also I met a lung specialist who actually showed me my histo in my lungs which seems old and inactive. I'm in Texas, but lived in the upper histo belt as a child. Noticed my first occurrence at 34, almost 11 years ago. Good luck!

Serendip Visitor's picture

ocular Histoplasmosis and Accutane

My daughter took Accutane at age 16 and started having red eyes and crazy vision, she was first diagnosed with conjunctivitis then Uvitis. After stopping Accutane her symptoms mostly went away but she continues to have one pupil that does weird shapes especially when she is tired. She is now 31 and just diagnosed with Ocular Histoplasmosis. I am wondering if any of you ever took Accutane?

Pamela Henderson's picture

Yes i took accutane in high

Yes i took accutane in high school...interesting

Serendip Visitor's picture

Histoplasmosis and accutane

I too was just told i have histo on my right eye. And I did take accutane when I was in my late 20s - 20 years ago! I thought maybe I got it from tending to my very large chicken coop. Maybe Accutane has something to do with it.

aaron morgan's picture

what has improved my histo

I have tried everything to fix my right eye histo spot is pretty large. I went to a nutrion doctor and he put my on tuna pills and changed my diet . I dont eat bread and all that sugar which now my eye has improved the crooked lines are more straight my central vision is much better so happy with the improvement. I hope maybe this will help someone.

Serendip Visitor's picture

HIsto and Accutane

My daughter is to see an eye specialist for a second opinion at Duke University...I will follow up here and let you know the outcome

Pamela's picture


Yes, I did take Accutane and I have histo spots in bother eyes.

This is quite interesting!!!

Serendip Visitor's picture


Thank you for Responding. It has been a slow process but my daughter has an appointment with an eye specialist for a second opinion this month. Will get back and let you know what he says. I cannot help but feel this was caused by Accutane since she did not have eye problems until she started taking it.

Tia's picture

Any other rare ones out there?

Hi all, I just turned 30 about 3 months after discovering I have OHS. One day I had a severe pain in my side and three days later, I couldn't see. People's faces were distorted and they looked like monsters, great big chunks were missing out of my vision... I could look at a straight table edge and there would be a circle completely missing out of the edge. A large one. I am a law student, so I thought that it was merely from reading so much in the harsh lighting. When I went to the Eye Institute, the ophthalmologist dilated my eyes and saw hemorrhages in both eyes. The left eye is the only one that has vision affected so far, and so it is the only one we are treating right now. I had Avastin injections into my eye every other week for a while, then every 3-4 weeks. Once he let me go 5 weeks, but the bleed still hasn't stopped seven months later. Because the bleed is so bad (my vision was literally "count fingers" and all I could see was fingertips and palm), and now it is somewhere around 20/400 with missing parts, it has been really difficult. When reading for long periods of time, or really at all, it helps to cover the eye. Otherwise, the strain on my right eye is just too much. My vision in my right should be 20/30, but its 20/80 without corrective lenses. The lenses only get them to 20/50. Anyway, the doctor did the IV test, showing dozens of punched out scars in my eyes. The really odd part? I had a culture done for histoplasmosis at the Infectious Disease Doctor and I have never had histoplasmosis. Yet, I have calcifications effecting my mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes, my parotid gland, my spleen, my liver, and a 12 mm nodule in my lung (with onset of restrictive lung disease). I'm being tested for lymphoma now. The retinal specialist did not perform laser surgery in the beginning because my entire central vision would have been permanently gone. I have more periphery now, so my last shot is next week. (Thank God for small favors!) However, the bleed is directly behind my retina. I'm not really sure what type of surgery he is planning on doing yet, but I'll keep you posted. Nobody knows why I'm affected, or why I've been so sick. (I did a stint in the hospital in May for a brain infection.) I don't want to be blind, and I can't afford to be so sick. Have any of you heard anything like this? For this type of presentation, if I had histo, it would have had to have been disseminated histo, so it would be serious and life-threatening. I'm hoping someone will have had the same experience because I've researched for so many hours and can find nothing.

OHS Sufferer's picture

similar experience

I have also been diagnosed with ocular histoplasmosis. I am 31 and just starting my career as an engineer. Almost everything you said sounds familiar except the doctors have not yet checked to see if it has spread to my other organs. So far it is just in my that is what the doctors are treating with eye injections. I can deal with the partial blindness. What I cannot deal with is not knowing exactly what is wrong with me. I am sick all the time. My white blood cell count is always elevated. Tomorrow I will be getting a final blood test from my family doctor. If my white blood cell count is still elevated she is going to refer me to the infectious disease experts. Since June I have generally felt sick, off and on. I have had an ear infection (never had one in my life), my good eye has been infected, I had an insect bite swell up to the size of a softball on my leg, etc. This is terrifying. I have never taken so many antibiotics in my entire life. I am also worried that I might have the severe disseminated histoplasmosis. It sounds like you have the same thing as me. I have not had the test to confirm it. So far, it has only been confirmed that it is in my eyes. I just wanted to respond to your comments. I understand. I am going through the same thing. It is absolutely terrifying. What makes it worse is the doctors do not seem as concerned about it as I am, not even close. I have never been this sick in my entire life. I told my retinal specialist about my sickness and he said he has never heard of that in the ten years he has been giving eye injections. I find that hard to believe. I will be joining you in the search for truth and support. It is horrible to lose part of our vision; but, it is a completely different issue to possibly die from this.

patobrocks's picture

Histo and Grains

I've had problems with my eyes since round 1990, but never diagnosed with ocular histoplasmosis until 2004. I received the first of a series of injection. Everything went fine with no bad effects, and after six weeks, I saw the doctor agian and it was determined that I'd need two more shots to clear it up and then probably every 2 or 3 years I'd get another series. But the 2nd shot gave e a bad reaction, so my treatment was cut off. Even though I never got that 3rd shot, my blind spots almost went away, but straight lines still retained their wavy jaggedness, and my depth perception stay skewed.

I kept checking my eyes with the Amsler test and I noticed a gradual increase in the blindspots in my left eye, and now the right eyes was having problems. I kept thinking I'd go see a doctor, but put it off, and during this time, and due to other factors, I gave up first gluten and then rice about a month later. About 2 or 3 weeks after removing the rice, the blind spots kept diminishing, until they are usually gone most days until late at night when tired. I still have trouble with lines, but I was able to start driving again, even at night. Not sure what was going on, I go to a completely different doctor, and he says I have some kind of macular but not histoplasmosis.

I don't know what to think, but I wonder if between the injection I received and severe dietary changes that the macular is looking completely different. I still have line problems, and with stress comes floaters and even ocular migraines. But just today, after a lot of online reading I've got some severely large blindspots.

Maria's picture

Would love more info

Hello all,

I have not been diagnosed with OHS, but reading about it i believe that this is what I could have. The first episode happened in 2005 and I had one in 2008 and 2009, with Avastin injections, with helped tremendously. I had another "little" episode when i did not have the bleeding and it did go away by itself.
I have been going to the Bascom Palmer where I had the avastin injections and they have not been able to diagnose me. Can anyone help me by telling me how is this diagnosed? and anyone else that couldnt be diagnosed for such a long time?
I am currently going through another episode, and I am going on Monday for an appointment. I will take all of this information to my doctor and see what he thinks. I would so much appreciate all of the help and information, it is a total breakthrough for me knowing that there are so many people out there going through the same!!! please email me at mfran999 at Gmail

Thank you so much!!!!!

Serendip Visitor Kendra gidley 's picture

One day I couldn't see our of

One day I couldn't see our of half my eye, I went to an eye dr and she said maybe stress or high blood pressure, I had scars yet no big deal. A week later went to my family dr for a check up and he said something isn't right, he wanted an MRI to see if I had a stroke but due to no insurance he sent me to a retina specialist. He looked at my eye I had a bleed and immediately had said I have histo.

Kendra Gidley's picture

Ocular Histoplasmosis

I am 26 years old. One day after work I was on the computer and my right eye all of a sudden got blurry. I called a local eye Dr and was seen the next day. She said I had histo spots, but once you have them they usually don't get worse. I started a new ant anxiety medication and she said the blurriness could be from that or from high blood pressure. The following week I went to my family DR for a check up. I told him about my eye and he sort of flipped out. He said I needed an MRI, I told him I didn't have insurance. So he said he would send me to a retina specialist. I went and I had hemoraging in my right eye. I was then diagnosed with Ocular Histoplasmosis. I was given a shot of avastin. Boy was I terrified. At my 6 week check up, I regained my vision back form the bleed. I have yet had a leak and it has been a year. I am still scared daily because of this. My RS told me I was the youngest person he has seen with this. I can see 3 small blurrs in my right eye and my whole left perifial of my left eye is at a blur. Yet I can only tell when I am tired or looking at alot of straight lines for awhile. I have a 3 year old and I am in school for nursing. I get so depressed when I think about this and how one day I could be "blind". My great grandma had it as well as my great uncle. My great uncle has been stable for I believe 15 years. I am on a support group on Facebook that helps out alot. I pray for everyone who has this horrible disease!

Rashelle Murray's picture

Fb page for suppprt

Can you please email or post name of fb page?

Panda's picture

Ocular histoplasmosis

Send me how to join your support group I also have this depressing (eye) disease thank you :)

Serendip Visitor : Lee Kieke's picture


This disease does not get easier and is very scary. I too was fairly young compared when I was told I have Histo. I got my first shot on my 35th birthday by Dr. David Brown in Houston. I have been fighting this now going on 6 years. They first treated my right eye, then found it in my left eye. I cry and stress out really bad about it also. I went almost a year since my last injection of Lucentis. My right eye is bad, and now I'm scared it is going blind in the center. I fell out of my house yesterday by miss stepping, luckily I tucked and rolled, so I was ok. Things happen like that to me when my vision gets really whacky. Be careful when driving, cutting, and walking. Enjoy every moment you can with your sight because you do not know when it will fade from day to day. Contact me any time you want about histo and I can inform you about what I've been through. Best wishes, take care!

marie's picture

question about histo

I have just been diagnosed with it recently. I go back on the 6th to see if the avastin(??) Worked. It didn't left eye is pretty much shot other then seeing out the side of it. My right eye Iis affected but I haven't shown symptoms in that eye yet other then the lesions. Was wondering how long it took for the other eye to start showing signs. I just want to be able to see my little many little ones grow up. Ive taken it really hard. Hard to believe you can see one day andnot the next. My doctor is saying there's treatment or cure for this and its so frustrating.

Sri's picture

ocular histoplosmosis

I am diagnosed with ocular histoplosmosis today I am 36 years old. My dr said he cannot treat right now , i have histo spots in my left eye. My DR Asked me to visit in a month. When I look at the amsler grid with my left eye i see wavy lines. My Dr said he cannot treat the histo spots I already have. Until my next dr appointment what I should I look for? At what stage they give Lucentis. I am scared what if I get in my right eye and then everything will be wavy. Can you please give me more information what to watch out for . I am scared , I have 2 little ones to raise and no one( family member) can raise my kids. I am afraid I go blind. Thankyou Sri.

Lisa Healan's picture

Ocular Histoplasmosis

I was diagnosed 9 months ago. I am new to Facebook, but a member, could you please tell me more about this support group on Facebook?

Serendip Visitor's picture

How long did it take for you

How long did it take for you to start seeing a difference after the avasitin shot? I was diagnosed Monday, shot on Tuesday. The pressure in my eye feelsuch better but unfortunately I haven't been able to see a difference in my sight. This is so depressing!

Brian Lewis's picture

I have been suffering joint

I have been suffering joint pain and I recently tried a light therapy device called tendlite, it really works like a charm and reduced my joint pain significantly. Give it a try here's the website

Anne Gaidoo's picture

ocular histoplasmosis

I'm 34 years old and live in Indiana. My vision first blurred in 2008. Thats when I was told I have ocular histoplasmosis. My vision has blurred 5 different times. Twice in the right eye and three in the left. So far I've had 13 shots of avastin and laser surgery to correct my vision. It can be a lot to deal with.

Serendip Visitor's picture


I was diagnosed with POHS 5 years ago but had my first attack 10 years ago. I woke up one morning and could not see out of my left eye. For five years I went from doctor to doctor including Dr. Foster who misdiagnosed me! He charged my insurance company over $20,000 dollars for a "5" minute exam, blood work up and an MRI.
I finally found a doctor who "immediately" saw the signature "round" lesions that led him to the POHS. I grew up on a dairy farm in upstate New York and my job was to "maintain and clean" the chicken coop. That means the virus remained dormant for over 30 years before attacking my eyes. I would highly suggest doing the steroid drops! Predforte was what saved my vision. Also take mega doses of ocular vitamins and ask for a muscle relaxant. Relaxing the body as a whole is the best way to counteract anymore damage. Don't do any up and down activities, exercises etc until the inflammation has calmed down. I haven't had a flare in 10 years. As soon as I become stressed or have inflammation anywhere in my body my eyes become indicators. Which means I experience flashing lights and an increase of floaters. I immediately take ocular vitamins and find ways to decrease the inflammation and stress. Also, always wear sunglasses even when the sun isn't out. My eyes have been damaged but the damage is "old" and doesn't affect my vision because the spots are located in the white part of the eye. Good luck...

Serendip Visitor's picture

I'm really interested in what

I'm really interested in what you said. I've been wondering what the hell I can do to at least try and help myself when there are so few answers and so many questions about this disease. Can you please tell me more about your experience and exactly what it is you do when you notice spots, reduce inflammation and stress, what vitamins help?

T. Johnson's picture

Living in fear

I apparently started showing symptoms right after my 21 year old daughter was born in 1990. Went to several doctors and retinal specialists who told me it was stress. About ten years later on the way home one night all of a sudden i couldn't see out of either eye. I say it looks like a kids kaleidescope. It passed after a few minutes. It happened again about a month later this time i was rushed to the emergency room. They contributed it to migraines. Then in 2005 i was back in college and kept noticing flashes of light and more curves in my vision. I went to a local eye surgeon who was recommended. He at that time told me i have OHS. He didn't say anything about treatment except if it got worse to come and see him. So, here it is 2012 and i was ill for about three weeks with a sinus infection. As soon as I finished my antibiotics I noticed my left eye has a smudged look and lines are more curvy than ususal. I immediately went to my eye doctor. He has me scheduled to see a Retinal specialist in two days. Last night i had one of my blinding episodes which i have not had in a very long time. Reading everything i can, i am becoming very scared. I am in the process of leaving my partner and trying to give myself a better life and THIS HAPPENS. I am also very angry that it was not diagnosed sooner and that no one has even tried steriods!!!

Sri's picture


Hi Mr. Johson, I am sri , living in jacksonville Fl. I am diagnosed with POHS a week ago , at my regular annual optometrist visit , when they were taking pictures of my eye , they asked me to look at the star in the machine , i noticed with my left eye, it looked wavy and asked my optometrist she said i have scar in my left eye , and not to worry about it. she asked me to look at amlser grid everyday and call if it gets worse. I was worried , as i have very high myopia and made an appointment with retina specialist. He diagnosed with POHS and said he cannot treat me now as i he doesn't see anything active .

My right eye was good but since 3 to 4 days i sarted to see a little wavy when i look at amsler grid. I am worried if it gets worse everything i see will be wavy as my left eye already have scars and wont be able to do daily activities. Can you tell me if you know how long I should wait to get treatment , until my vision gets blurry? When I call my Dr , he says when my vision gets blurry to call them, If they treat me at that point , after treatment will i be able to see everything straight. I am sorry I know your are not a doctor, but from your experience if you know anything can you please share. Thankyou and GOODLUCK. Sri

Lisa Healan's picture

ocular histoplasmosis

I am just now today learning about the steroids. I was diagnosed 9 months ago. My last shot of Avastain did not work, it made it worse. My eye doctor has never even said anything about steroids or high stress factors. Thank you for your story. I think I might change doctors for sure.

Bets Barrett's picture

65 years - later arthritis complication

I was diagnosed at Indiana Univ Med Center with OHS at age 18 in 1966. At that time I had headaches, blurred vision in my left eye, and floaters. I was immediately hospitalized and given daily injections of cortisone into left eye and placed on a very high dosage of oral Prednisone. Remember, they didn't have the laser perfected at that time. After release, I continued to have bi-weekly injections at the univ med center (student at IU) for the next 9 months. I, ultimately, lost the central vision in my left eye.

A few years later, while getting an x-ray for what the doctor thought was pneumonia, it was discovered I had nodal damage to both lungs.I was never treated for lung issues. I never realized I had any until that x-ray even though climbing stairs and hills usually made me a bit breathless.


Now at age 65 I have developed a severe case of finger, knee, ankle, and toe arthritis. I live in AZ now and my doctor here while diagnosing suggested I might have contracted Valley fever ( a similar fungal reaction to desert spores) and it might have contributed to my joint pain. He is a renowned internist at MAYO Clinic and has specifically studied VALLEY FEVER and connected complications. He was so surprised to learn about my OHS/ the Midwest version of Ohio Valley Fever. He asked me to allow him time to research a connection between OHS patients and later arthritis.

Turns out a high percentage of OHS patients develop severe arthritis later. Most often in the hands. They are only now connecting the dots of both ailments. Usually people just figure the arthritis is a result of old age and don't even mention to their docs about them having Histoplasmosis. IF YOU DISCOVER ANY JOINT PAIN, BE SURE TO SHARE YOUR OHS WITH YOUR DOCTOR.

Even though I can't see in my left eye, have trouble on dusty days breathing, and have difficulty holding the reins, I am a very active senior citizen. I worked for over 30 years as a teacher/ school administrator. I love to play golf (have to have a long face forward putter because trying to put from my left is not worth diddly) and ride my horse at least a mile across the desert every day.

OHS can only limit you if you let it. Be sure to find the right doctors who know and understand the disease.

Serendip VisitorTheresa's picture


I invite you all to join the Facebook page for POHS. This is the link
I have been told i have histo, PIC,MFC and now back to it being histo. I find this all fustrating and confusing, and it seems no one really has the answers. I have had nine injections of avastin ( and by the way the injections don't hurt, yet the sterilizing of the eye right before cause me alot of discomfort)

Pamela's picture


Please email the FB link. I could not locate it! Thanks!