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Central serous choroidopathy

Central serous retinopathy

Central serous choroidopathy is a disease that causes fluid to build up under the retina. This is the back part of the inner eye that sends sight information to the brain. The fluid leaks from the blood vessel layer under the retina. This area is called the choroid.

Causes

The cause of this condition is unknown.

Men are affected more often than women, and the condition is most common at around age 45. However, anyone can be affected.

Stress appears to be a risk factor. Early studies found that people with aggressive, "type A" personalities who are under a lot of stress may be more likely to develop central serous choroidopathy.

The condition can also occur as a complication of steroid drug use.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

  • Dim and blurred blind spot in the center of vision
  • Distortion of straight lines with the affected eye
  • Objects appearing smaller or farther away with the affected eye

Exams and Tests

Your health care provider can most often diagnose central serous choroidopathy by dilating the eye and performing an eye exam. Fluorescein angiography confirms the diagnosis.

This condition may also be diagnosed with a noninvasive test called ocular coherence tomography (OCT).

Treatment

Most cases clear up without treatment in 1 or 2 months. Laser treatment or photodynamic therapy to seal the leak may help restore vision in people with more severe leakage and vision loss, or in those who have had the disease for a long time.

People who are using steroid drugs (for example, to treat autoimmune diseases) should stop using these drugs, if possible. DO NOT stop taking these medicines without first talking to your provider.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Most people recover good vision without treatment. However, vision is often not as good as it was before the condition occurred.

The disease returns in about one half of all people. Even when the disease returns, it has a good outlook. Rarely, people develop permanent scars that damage their central vision.

Possible Complications

A small number of people will have complications from laser treatment that impair their central vision. That is why most people will be allowed to recover without treatment, if possible.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if your vision gets worse.

Prevention

There is no known prevention. Although there is a clear association with stress, there is no evidence that reducing stress can help prevent or treat central serous choroidopathy.

References

Lam D, Das S, Liu S, Lee V, Lu L. Central serous chorioretinopathy. In: Schachat AP, Sadda SVR, Hinton DR, Wilkinson CP, Wiedemann P, eds. Ryan's Retina. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 75.

Kalevar A, Agarwal A. Central serous chorioretinopathy. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 6.31.

Tamhankar MA. Visual loss: retinal disorders of neuro-ophthalmic interest. In: Liu GT, Volpe NJ, Galetta SL, eds. Liu, Volpe, and Galetta's Neuro-Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 4.

    • Retina

      Retina - illustration

      The retina is the internal layer of the eye that receives and transmits focused images. The retina is normally red due to its rich blood supply.

      Retina

      illustration

      • Retina

        Retina - illustration

        The retina is the internal layer of the eye that receives and transmits focused images. The retina is normally red due to its rich blood supply.

        Retina

        illustration

      Review Date: 8/28/2018

      Reviewed By: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

      The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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