Central serous chorioretinopathy is a condition in which “blisters” of fluid collect under the retina, or under the tissue that nourishes the retina, the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).
This condition typically occurs in younger adults between the ages of 30 and 50, although there have been many reported cases in older individuals. It is also more common in men, affecting approximately 3 times as many males as females. Central serous chorioretinopathy is often thought to result from stress, and many affected individuals are labeled as “type A” personalities. Other associations include pregnancy, renal disease, and steroid use.
Central serous chorioretinopathy is often suspected when an individual presents with “blisters” of fluid under the retina or RPE (Figure 1). The patient often reports central blurring of vision, distortion, and micropsia (objects appearing smaller). There is often a shift in focus toward farsightedness.
Most cases of central serous chorioretinopathy resolve without treatment after several weeks or months. In certain circumstances, treatment is recommended. These include non-resolving fluid, a need for more rapid visual recovery, and a poor outcome in the other eye without treatment. When treatment is indicated, most often topical and oral medications can be used successfully. Occasionally, a laser is used to “seal” an area of leakage identified on the sangiogram. Thermal laser cannot be used if the “hot spot” is directly in the center of vision, as the laser burn will damage the fine central vision. The prognosis with central serous chorioretinopathy is considered excellent, although there are certainly severe cases that result in significant, permanent visual loss in one or both eyes.