Cystoid Macular Edema

What is Cystoid Macular Edema (CME)?

Cystoid macular edema (CME), or swelling of the central vision (macula), typically occurs as a result of disease, injury or eye surgery. Fluid collects within the layers of the macula, causing blurred, distorted central vision. CME can cause a permanent loss of vision, and the recovery is often a slow, gradual process. The majority of patients recover in 2 to 15 months.

What are the symptoms?

Most patients notice a blurring of the central vision making it harder to read and drive. The vision may also be distorted (straight lines appear wavy). Rarely, there may be some pink distortion of the vision and the eye may be light sensitive.

What are the risk factors?

CME may be associated with iritis/uveitis (inflammation of the eye), an injury, previous eye surgery or hereditary eye conditions (such as retinitis pigmentosa)

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.

What is my prognosis?

The prognosis for visual acuity is generally good, however some patients may have persistent vision loss or recurrence of the condition.

What is the treatment?

Depending on the cause of CME it may be treated with laser, medication or surgery. CME is usually treated with steroidal and/or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drops. The drops will probably be used for weeks to months. If the eye does not respond to this treatment often an injection of steroid will be placed next to or into the eye. Rarely, if these treatments do not result in resolution of the edema, a vitrectomy may be considered.

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