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Central serous retinopathy is a condition affecting the eye in which the patient experiences visual loss and distortion due to fluid accumulating below the retina. Those with this condition are usually between 20 and 50 years of age and often report painless, sudden vision loss. The fluid leaks from choroid, the layer of blood vessels below the retina.
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As of today, what causes this condition is not known. Men are affected more often than women, and the majority of patients are around 45 years old, but all ages, genders, and races can be affected.
Stress seems to play a role. Early studies show that those under a lot of stress that are a type A personality, are more likely to develop this condition. This condition may also occur as a steroid drug use complication.
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Signs and Symptoms
Central serous retinopathy vary and patients may not experience all symptoms, or in some cases, any signs and symptoms at all. Signs and symptoms may include:
- The affected eye seeing straight line distortion
- A blurry and dim blind spot in the middle of the patient's vision
- In the affected eye, objects may seem farther away or smaller
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This condition is typically diagnosed by doing an eye exam after dilating the eye. The diagnosis is confirmed by using fluorescein angiography. This eye test uses a camera and a special due to look at choroid and retina blood flow.
Ocular coherence tomography may also be done. This noninvasive test is used to get an image of the structures of the retina.
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In most cases, this condition will clear up in a month or two without treatment. Patients who have more severe visual loss and more severe leakage, or patients in which this condition lasts longer, may benefit from photodynamic therapy or laser treatment to try and restore vision or to seal the leak.
Patients using steroid drugs, such as for autoimmune diseases, should refrain from them, if their doctor determines they can. However, no one should stop using these drugs unless under the supervision of their physician.
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Most patients will regain good vision even without treatment, however, their vision often is not quite what it was prior to having this condition.
About half of all patients will experience central serous retinopathy again in the future, but even a recurrence has a good outlook. In rare cases, central vision may become damaged due to permanent scars.
As of today, no preventative method exists. While stress is believed to play a role in causing this condition, there is no evidence to show that reducing stress is beneficial in preventing this condition.
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Williamson Eye Institute. (2010). Central Serous Retinopathy. Retrieved on January 12, 2011 from the Williamson Eye Institute: http://www.williamsoneyeinstitute.com/theretinacenter/trc_csr.php
Bennett and Bloom Eye Centers. (2010). Central Serous Retinopathy. Retrieved on January 12, 2011 from Bennett and Bloom Eye Centers: http://www.eyecenters.com/eye-conditions/central-serous-retinopathy.html