Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Central Serous Retinopathy

Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR) is a relatively uncommon retinal condition that usually resolves after a few months, but can occasionally lead to vision loss. CSR has the following characteristics:

-  Young, healthy adults ages 20-45
-  Occurs more frequently in males
-  Associated with trauma, pregnancy, allergy, migraine, steroid use, antibiotic use
-  Type A personalities

Symptoms include:
-  Blurred spot in vision with reduction in acuity
-  Distorted vision
-  Longer time for eye to recover from bright light exposure

For reasons not yet fully known, a person with CSR develops a “leak” in a layer of his or her retina that allows fluid to collect or pool within the retina itself. It is this leakage that leads to symptoms.
Fortunately the natural course of the disease is limited. Typically, normal acuity, i.e. 20/20, returns over several weeks to months.  However, some people continue to experience a persistent blurry spot, reduced contrast sensitivity and color perception, and mild image distortion. The disease often recurs either in the same or other eye. If CSR does return, it usually happens within 1 year of the previous episode

Again, without treatment, most eyes will recover. In some cases, though, laser treatment to “seal” the leak is recommended. Laser treatment may be considered for the following:
-  Persistence of serous detachment beyond 3-4 months
-  Recurrence in eye with visual deficit from prior episode 
-  Exam findings of chronic signs like cystic retinal changes or diffuse retinal pigment abnormalities
-  Occupational/patient needs for prompt visual recovery, i.e. pilot, police officer.

Laser treatment can allow recovery to occur within 2 to 4 weeks, but the ultimate vision is the same whether or not treatment is performed. The treatment is performed on an outpatient basis by one of our retinal specialists. There are usually no restrictions after the procedure.