Central serous retinopathy is a disease that causes temporary, but in some cases permanent, blurred vision. It commonly affects young to middle-aged men.
It usually affects one eye, but in rare cases both can be affected. The effects of central serous retinopathy are normally temporary and most patients recover good vision. Treatment can significantly speed up recovery.
Central serous retinopathy happens when fluid builds up under the retina— the part of your eye that converts light rays into electrical signals. These blister-like swellings can cause distorted vision.
Symptoms of the condition mostly include problems with your central vision. It usually occurs in one eye and it can affect men and women—although young men are more generally affected.
One of the most common symptoms that people have is blurred vision or distorted vision in one eye. If you're suffering from central serous retinopathy you may also have fuzzy central vision and your sight might seem like it has a brown or dull colouring to it.
You might also experience blind spots in your vision, feel overly sensitive to light levels and see objects smaller than they actually are. Sometimes the condition can present no visible symptoms though.
It is not known for sure what causes central serous retinopathy to develop. Several factors have been identified that might increase your risk of contracting the condition.
Stress is thought to be one of the main causes of the condition. A natural steroid called cortisol is produced by your body during times of stress. This helps you to cope and is essential when it comes to protecting your body. However, large amounts of cortisol can cause problems. There is thought to be a link between cortisol production and the condition, but this has not been proven.
Overuse of other steroids is also thought to play a role in the development of the condition.
Most people normally recover from the condition within 4 to 6 months and won't need any treatment. If the condition has lasted up to a year and is severely impacting your life, laser treatment can help.
During thermal laser treatment, a laser is applied to the middle part of your retina, called the macula, to seal the leak.
Sometimes another type of treatment called photodynamic therapy is more suitable for people who are at risk of scarring on their macula that could permanently damage their vision. Photodynamic therapy combines laser treatment with a light-sensitive drug to treat the condition.