Syphilis can invade the nervous system at any stage of infection, and causes a wide range of symptoms, including headache, altered behavior, difficulty coordinating muscle movements, paralysis, sensory deficits, and dementia.3 This invasion of the nervous system is called “neurosyphilis.
Like neurosyphilis, ocular syphilis can occur at any stage of infection. Ocular syphilis can involve almost any eye structure, but posterior uveitis and panuveitis are the most common. Symptoms include vision changes, decreased visual acuity, and permanent blindness. Clinicians should be aware of ocular syphilis and screen for visual complaints in any patient at risk for syphilis (e.g., MSM, persons living with HIV, others with risk factors and persons with multiple or anonymous partners). A 2015 Clinical Advisory and a MMWR: Notes from the Field discuss recent reported cases and provide information for clinicians on the diagnosis and management of ocular syphilis.