Central Serous Retinopathy

Other names: Central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC), Idiopathic Central Serous Chorioretinopathy (ICSC)

What are the symptoms?

This condition causes a painless loss of the central portion of the vision. There may be distortion, changes in the color vision, objects may look smaller and there is a central black or gray spot.

What are the risk factors?

CSR tends to occur in the young, although patients over age 50 are becoming more common. Men are affected more commonly than women. Type A personalities and major stressful events may be associated with CSR. Systemic associations include organ transplantation, steroid use, high blood pressure, producing too much steroid in the body (Cushing’s syndrome), lupus, pregnancy and the use of some medications.

How is the condition diagnosed?

Your doctor will examine the retina and will probably do additional testing to include a fluorescein angiogram and an OCT. This condition results from leakage under the central retina resulting in a build up of fluid under the retina (like a blister of the retina).

What is my prognosis?

The prognosis for visual acuity is generally good. The leakage causing the condition will usually spontaneously resolve over one to four months. Most patients will regain good vision in the affected eye, although there may be some mild changes such as decreased contrast, decreased color vision, mild distortion and decreased night vision. There is a chance that the condition may recur in the same or the other eye.

What is the treatment?

Because the condition resolves spontaneously in most patients, treatment is usually not needed. However, laser may be needed if one of the following conditions exist: 1) Persistence of the fluid for three or more months 2) recurrence in an eye with a permanent deficit from previous CSR 3) presence of visual deficits in the opposite eye from a previous episode of CSR and 4) occupational or other patient need requiring prompt recovery of vision, such as a police officer of pilot. Rarely, patients with this condition develop bleeding in the eye from abnormal blood vessels. These patients may require treatment as well.

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