What are the Triggers of Central Serous Chorioretinopathy?

Central serous retinopathy (CSR) or central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC) is a condition that leads to the buildup of fluid under the macula.

The macula is the center of the retina. It is what gives you 20/20 vision and the ability to see fine details.

Fluid buildup under the macula causes it to swell and distort your vision. So much fluid can build up underneath your retina that it can cause a cerous or fluid-filled detachment.

CSC often affects one eye, but both eyes can develop the condition at the same time. Keep reading to learn more about central serous chorioretinopathy and what causes it.

Triggers of CSC

CSC occurs when there is a leak in the choroid. The choroid is a layer of tissue between your retina and sclera or the white part of your eye.

When you have CSC, fluid leaks from your choroid into your retinal pigment epithelium or RPE. The RPE is the layer of cells between your retina and choroid.

The likely triggers of CSC include:

  • Psychological and emotional stress
  • Hypertension
  • Sleep disturbances like insomnia and sleep apnea
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria found in the stomach which causes inflammation
  • Anxiety, insomnia, and depression medications
  • Corticosteroids

Pregnancy hormones can also worsen CSC, particularly in the third trimester of pregnancy. But the condition usually resolves itself after delivery.

Signs and Symptoms of CSC

If the bulge in the retina caused by CSC is not under your macula, you may not notice any symptoms. If it’s under the macula, there will likely be symptoms.

Some of the most common symptoms of Central Serous Chorioretinopathy are:

  • A gray spot near your central vision that hinders reading 
  • Blurriness 
  • Distorted vision, where straight lines appear bent or wavy
  • Objects in one or both eyes appearing smaller and further away than usual
  • Fading colors

Central Serous Chorioretinopathy Risks if Left Untreated

If the fluid doesn’t clear on its own, and you don’t seek medical help, it may damage the macula. Damage to your macula could result in permanent vision deterioration. If you have CSC, it is best to seek treatment to release the fluid buildup.

Preventative Measures

It’s best to avoid using corticosteroids. Also, a healthy lifestyle can decrease your risk of CSC. 

Lowering your stress levels is an easy way to minimize your risk of developing CSC. Cutting caffeine and alcohol intake, not smoking, and getting enough sleep will also help you avoid CSC.

How is Central Serous Chorioretinopathy Diagnosed?

Your eye doctor will start with a vision test, followed by a comprehensive eye exam. Next, they will look for fluid buildup under the macula using optical coherence tomography (OCT).

OCT takes a detailed picture of your retina for your eye doctor to examine. Fluorescein angiography or IVFA can also help detect where the fluid leak is.

During IVFA, your ophthalmologist will inject a safe vegetable dye into a vein in your arm. The dye then travels to your retina and highlights the blood vessels in it. Then the eye doctor will take photos to see if the dye is leaking from your blood vessels and accumulating under your retina.

If left untreated, CSC can cause permanent damage to your eyesight. Many cases of the condition do resolve on their own. But seeing, an ophthalmologist will ensure your vision does not have permanent damage.

If you think you have CSC, schedule an appointment at Joshi Eye Institute in Boynton Beach, FL. Don’t risk permanent damage to your vision!

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