What Is Central Serous Choroidoretinopathy? By Dr. Parks on July 22, 2014

A woman looking confidently aheadIt can be quite alarming and worrisome to suffer from a relatively quick onset of vision loss. Although it is quite common for people to have gradually worsening vision over a period of time, sudden vision loss, impairment, or disturbances are generally an indication of a more serious underlying problem. If retinal detachment is the cause, then it is imperative that the person seek professional treatment as soon as possible, as some instances of detachment can have permanent consequences if left untreated for too long.

Central serous choroidoretinopathy is one of multiple retinal diseases that can cause visual impairment for an extended time, warranting a trip to our Beverly Hills office. Take a moment to learn what this disease is, its effects, and what you can do to restore your vision.

What Is Central Serous Choroidoretinopathy?

Central serous retinopathy or choroidoretinopathy (CSC) is a retinal disease caused by a leakage of fluid under the center of the retina. This fluid is believed to come from blood vessels within an underlying layer of tissue, which is normally held in place by a layer of cells called the retinal pigment epithelium. If this layer becomes defective, it allows the fluid to flow under the retina, displacing it and distorting vision.

Symptoms of CSC

If you are suffering from CSC, you most likely have distorted central vision. This results in a change to or absence of objects in the middle of your field of vision. In some cases, objects may be blurred or warped, while other people may see darkness or discoloration in that spot. Additionally, people may see normally straight lines become curved, especially as they approach one’s center of vision. Depending on the severity of disease, these effects may be minimally noticeable, allowing people to retain 20/20 vision, while severe cases of CSC can result in a serious loss of vision such as 20/200.   

What Causes CSC?

The direct cause of CSC is largely unresolved, leaving many professionals to speculate on the triggering mechanism behind this disease. However, there are various risk factors correlated with CSC, allowing doctors and patients to better predict who is more likely to suffer from it. These factors include:

  • Sex: Males are statistically more likely to develop CSC than females.
  • Age: CSC is most often seen in patients in their late 20s to their 50s.
  • Stress: Patients with CSC also tend to live stressful lives, such as those with “Type A” personalities who are consistently assertive and take on many responsibilities.
  • High blood pressure: Like stress, blood pressure is also positively correlated with CSC.

Due to the above factors, patients may also increase their chances of developing CSC if they use steroids, have hypertension, or drink substantial amounts of caffeine. 

Treatment for CSC

Fortunately, CSC is a rare instance of retinal detachment wherein immediate treatment is not necessary to preserve one’s long-term vision. In a majority of cases, the condition will slowly resolve after one or two months and patients will return to their previous quality of vision. Most patients are therefore advised to wait for improvement, although any additional effects or complications do warrant continued professional examination. It should also be noted that even if you believe you have CSC, professional consultation is necessary. By diagnosing the problem and its cause, a doctor can accurately determine whether additional treatment is necessary.  

For longer or chronic cases of CSC, some patients may seek treatment options to alleviate their symptoms sooner. Laser surgery offers one procedure that has shown success in patients. By sealing the area of leakage, visual impairment can be decreased in time and severity. However, this option has varying degrees of success with patients, and not all doctors view it as a preferable alternative. In order to learn how your own condition can be addressed in the safest and most effective way, speak with Dr. Parks today.       

Schedule a Consultation

Any instance of retinal detachment demands immediate attention. Contact our office to schedule an appointment with us or to learn more about our various retinal treatments and services. 

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Dr. David J. Parks

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