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.
Cystoid Macular Edema Image


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.


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.


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).