Inflamed Choroid (Chorioretinitis)

What Is It?

Chorioretinitis is an inflammation of the choroid, which is a lining of the retina deep in the eye. This inflammation can affect vision.


Chorioretinitis may be caused by infection or by autoimmune diseases.

It is sometimes caused by an infection that you had when you were young, although the symptoms may not appear for 10 to 20 years.

Risk Factors 

Factors that may increase your chance of getting Chorioretinitis

  • Autoimmune disease, such as:
  • Infectious disease, such as:
    • Syphilis
    • Tuberculosis
    • Congenital toxoplasmosis
    • Congenital rubella
    • Congenital CMV
    • HIV/AIDS
  • Weak immune status
  • Exposure to pets, raw or undercooked meat, or contaminated water
  • HLA-A29 gene

Symptoms of Chorioretinitis 

Chorioretinitis may cause:

  • Pain or redness in the eye
  • Blurred vision, or seeing floating objects in your vision
  • Sensitivity to light or glare
  • Excessive tearing
  • Sensation of sparks or flashes of light
  • Impaired night vision
  • Impaired color vision
  • Distortion of objects

Diagnosing Chorioretinitis at UVA

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

To prepare for a complete eye exam, drops may be put in your eyes to numb them and to dilate your pupils. The slit lamp, a special microscope to examine the eye, will focus a high powered beam of light into your eye to examine the cornea and other eye structures. The doctor may measure the pressure in your eyes.

Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with blood tests.

Treating Chorioretinitis

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.

Medications may vary depending on the cause. Other causes will also need to be treated.

Chorioretinitis may be treated with:

  • Corticosteroid eye drops or injections to control inflammation
  • Medications for an infection, which may be present or possible
  • Dilating drops — to prevent the iris from sticking to the lens underneath, which will reduce discomfort

Chorioretinitis Prevention

To help reduce your chance of chorioretinitis:

  • Have regular eye exams, especially if there is eye pain or vision problems
  • Monitor and properly treat any autoimmune diseases
  • Learn ways to prevent congenital infections that may cause chorioretinitis


Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.