What Conditions Can A Cytomegalovirus Infection Cause?

October 24, 2023

Cytomegalovirus is a common virus related to the various viruses that cause chickenpox, mononucleosis, and cold sores. According to information provided by the Centers for Disease Control(CDC), it is estimated one in three children will have contracted the virus by the time they are five years old. It is believed anywhere from fifty to eighty percent of adults are also infected with the virus, with half of them experiencing symptoms by the time they are forty years old. Cytomegalovirus generally causes no symptoms except for in unborn children and those with weakened immune systems. Once you contract the virus, it stays with you for life and may even be reactivated, resulting in additional infection symptoms or complications. Get to know the different conditions a cytomegalovirus infection can cause now.


The cytomegalovirus can lead to an infection of the retina within the eye, called retinitis. As the virus attacks the retina, it can lead to blurred vision. As more damage occurs, it can cause blank spots in your vision and floaters, spots that move when you move your eyes. Loss of night vision can make it more difficult to see in low-light situations, making it more difficult to drive not only at night, but at dusk and dawn as well. Further damage can result in loss of peripheral vision, resulting in a condition often referred to as tunnel vision. Although the progression of vision loss is generally slow with this disease, the virus can eventually destroy enough of the retina to cause blindness.

Reveal the next condition now.


Cytomegalovirus infection can lead to difficulty with swallowing, a condition known as dysphagia. Depending on the affected region of the throat, it is labeled as either oropharyngeal or esophageal. With the oropharyngeal classification, an individual may have difficulty with the onset of the act of swallowing due to damage to nerves or muscles in the throat or mouth. Individuals suffering from the esophageal variety may feel like food has become stuck in the throat in the area of the chest or the neck. If the difficulty in swallowing is caused by a cytomegalovirus infection within the throat, symptoms may improve once the infection itself has cleared.

Get to know more of the conditions a cytomegalovirus infection can cause now.


Individuals who have a weakened immune system are at great risk for developing a serious lung infection from cytomegalovirus than healthy individuals. Additionally, patients with compromised immunity from chemotherapy, organ or bone marrow transplants, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) may also be at an increased risk of developing pneumonia from previously dormant cytomegaloviruses. When this condition develops, it is not always easy for a physician to know cytomegalovirus is the cause of the infection, or if it is due to another virus or bacteria, making treatment potentially difficult. Pneumonia caused by cytomegalovirus infections, just like from any other cause, can be fatal.

Uncover more of the medical conditions this virus can cause now.


Cytomegaloviruses can infect the colon, especially in those with weakened immune systems, leading to colitis. Once the virus infiltrates the lining of the colon, it can begin to eat away at the lining, leading to inflammation. As the body tries to suppress this inflammation with an immune response, watery diarrhea can develop. In many cases, this condition may become chronic, leading to severe dehydration and other health risks. Because colitis caused by cytomegaloviruses cannot be differentiated from Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, treatment may be delayed. If ulcerations in the colon become severe and reach the inner blood vessels, blood may also be released into the bowels.

Understand more about the effects of a cytomegalovirus infection now.

Numbness Or Weakness In Legs

Infection with cytomegalovirus can affect the brain or spinal cord. While serious infections are rare in healthy individuals, they can occur. Because the brain sends signals down the spinal column to the legs, any infection in these areas can potentially cause some degree of nerve damage leading to numbness or weakness in legs. Inflammation of the peripheral nerves, often called Guillain-Barré syndrome, can cause weakness or numbness that can progress fairly rapidly. If the infection affects the spinal cord, called myelitis, it can affect control of the legs and the bladder. When any infection damages the nerve roots or nerves leading to the legs, this can also result in numbness and weakness.

MORE FROM HealthPrep