Stress whether it is emotional or physical can affect your body and health in many ways, including your precious eyesight. Central Serous Retinopathy can affect your vision in the setting of stress impacting your ability to read or worse in severe cases.
Right now, we will cover some of the basics of Central Serous Retinopathy with a focus on diagnosis and treatment options.
What is Central Serous Retinopathy?
Central Serous Retinopathy is a stress-related eye disease that results in the loss of central vision affecting your ability to read. Stress induced hormones or chemicals lead to the accumulation of fluid or a blister of fluid in the macula or central vision that leads to a smudge in the center of your vision in the affected eye.
- Distortion or wavyness in your central vision
- Colors appear dull or gray
- Difficulty reading
- Loss of depth perception
- Objects appear smaller
Who develops Central Serous Retinopathy?
- More commonly affects men
- Usually presents between the ages of 20 and 50.
- Chronic stress may increase your risk of developing the disorder
- Type-A personality traits or high stress individuals are at increased risk
- The use of oral, inhaled, or injected steroids increase your risk for Central serous retinopathy
How to Check at home for signs of Central Serous Retinopathy?
Distortion or blurry spots with the other eye covered on an Amsler grid shown below may indicate Central serous retinopathy or other macula diseases such as Macula holes, Macula wrinkles or Macula degeneration. If you notice changes on the Amsler grid, you require a retinal evaluation of your central vision or macula.
What to expect at your retinal evaluation?
You will undergo a dilated eye eye exam and, if warranted, will require further diagnostic imaging of the retina with Ocular Coherence Topography (OCT) or Angiography (FA or ICG). The OCT image looks at your central vision or macula in cross-section using a 3-D reconstruction to evaluate any abnormalities. The Angiography looks at blood flow in your central vision or macula looking for abnormal vessels or leaking blood vessels.
Treatment options for Central serous retinopathy
For a vast majority of patients, lifestyle modifications with an emphasis on stress reduction leads to the resolution of symptoms from Central serous retinopathy. In patients with severe clinical symptoms or chronic symptoms, laser treatment, especially with the tissue sparing yellow-wavelength micro-pulse laser,is an effective method of treatment even with fluid in the central vision to decrease the severity and duration of the disease. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) and Avastin injections have been used in the past with limited degrees of success in the treatment of Central serous retinopathy.