Retinal Conditions


Cystoid Macular Edema

Cystoid macular edema (CME) affects the central area of the retina known as the macula. The macula allows us to see objects with great detail. Accumulated fluid creates cystic spaces which results in the swelling of the macula.

Symptoms

Blurred and distorted central vision are the most common symptoms of CME. Peripheral vision is not affected. Diagnosis is determined by performing a detailed examination of the retina as well as retinal imaging studies using fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography.

Causes

There are many conditions associated with CME, including vascular disorders (retinal vein occlusion and diabetes), inflammatory conditions (uveitis), mechanical causes (surgery and trauma), and pharmacological causes (medication side effects). CME occurs after a small percentage of cataract surgeries. If it occurs in one eye, there is an increased risk that it will occur in the other eye.

Treatments

There are several therapies used to treat CME. Depending on the underlying cause, treatment may consist of anti-inflammatory eye drops, intravitreal injections, oral medications, laser surgery, or vitrectomy surgery (removal of the vitreous gel inside the eye).

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Central Serous Chorioretinopathy

Central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC) is a condition where there is leakage and a build-up of fluid under the retina. Loss of vision occurs if the central part of the retina, known as the macula, is affected. The condition usually occurs in young, healthy males but may also occur in women and during pregnancy.

Symptoms

Visual distortion, color vision abnormalities and decreased visual acuity are some of the symptoms described by patients with this condition.

Causes

The cause of CSC is unknown and therefore is termed idiopathic. However, patients with "Type A" personalities or who are under extreme stress appear to be more susceptible to developing the condition. External triggers include steroid medication and hormonal changes during pregnancy.

Treatments

Most cases of CSC are self-limited and resolve spontaneously within a few weeks or months of onset. Patients should be monitored closely to ensure that the condition improves and no complications develop. Laser treatment may be considered to help restore vision if the healing process is too slow.

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