If you are suffering from compromised clarity in the center of your field of vision, retinal specialist Dr. Sean Lalin can determine during a consultation whether cystoid macular edema (CME) is the cause of your symptoms. CME is characterized by retinal swelling and the accumulation of fluid in the macula (central part of the retina). Though the disorder can have a significant effect on your sight, CME typically responds well to treatment. To learn more about cystoid macular edema, contact our practice serving Morristown and Hackettstown today.
Symptoms and Causes
A healthy retina - the "screen" that receives light at the back surface of the eye - is integral to clear vision and color perception. Sometimes fluid can collect at the center of the retina (also known as the edema), blurring our central field of vision. As the macula becomes swollen with fluid, cyst-like patterns that are characteristic of CME will begin to develop.
Typically, the first symptom of CME is blurred central vision, which some patients describe as "wavy." Colors may also begin to look different. A number of factors increase the risk of an individual developing CME, including:
- Cataract surgery (between 1-3% of cataract surgery patients will develop CME)
- Retinal detachment repair
- Trauma or injury to the eye
- Inflammation of the eye
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Blockage of small retinal veins or arteries
- Medication-related side effects
Once CME develops in one eye, the likelihood that both eyes will eventually be affected increases by as much as 50%, studies suggest.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
In order to determine whether you are suffering from CME, Dr. Lalin will use a special instrument to examine the inside of the eye. Swelling on the macula may be readily apparent, or he may order a test called a fluorescein angiogram, which uses a special camera and ultraviolet light to better analyze the tissue. Optical coherence tomography can also be a useful diagnostic tool, and provides a cross-sectional view of the retina.
Vision can often be fully restored using a range of treatment methods. If the condition is symptomatic of another disease, like diabetes, it may naturally heal on its own once the underlying cause is treated. In the event that it is related to inflammation following surgery or some type of eye injury, anti-inflammatory medications may be recommended. Anti-inflammatory eye drops, pills, and steroid injections in and around the eye have all been found to be effective in treating CME. Laser therapy, diuretics, and prescription injections belonging to a class of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors can also help. In the case that the gel inside the eye (vitreous) is pulling on the macula and causing swelling, the thick fluid may need to be removed during a procedure known as a vitrectomy.
Learn More during an Appointment
If you are experiencing blurry or distorted vision, prompt medical attention is necessary in order to diagnose any existing conditions. Combining his expertise with advanced technologies, Dr. Lalin is committed to aggressive, individualized treatment plans that can save and restore one of your most precious assets. Contact our practice today to schedule your comprehensive examination.