Other Retinal Conditions

Central Serous Chorioretinopathy

Central Serous Chorioretinopathy (CSCR or CSR) is a common condition that affects young people between the ages of 20-50. It is more common in males.

Fluid accumulates underneath the retina and if this occurs at the central macular it results in blurred vision. Patients usually present with central distortion or blurred vision in one eye. Colours may appear washed out and there can be a central scotoma. Symptoms are usually unilateral. Metamorphopsia and image size distortion are common. There is a 5% prevalence in Cushing’s syndrome.

What causes CSCR?

In most cases, a cause is never identified. However, stress and use of steroid medications are thought to be associated in certain cases.

How is CSCR treated?

In most cases CSCR resolves spontaneously and no treatment is required. Over 90% of patients return to normal or near normal vision within 3-4 months. Occasionally patients continue to have reduced colour vision, night vision or distortion.

Some patients with non-resolving CSCR require laser treatment after 4-6 months. Photodynamic therapy is also emerging as a possible treatment option in certain patients.  Other newer treatments that can be considered for some patients include oral medications that block mineralocorticoid receptor such as Spironolactone or Eplerenone.

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Macular Hole

The macula is an area at the centre of the retina, where light focuses to produce your clear, coloured, detailed vision.  When a defect occurs through this area it is referred to as a macular hole.  The most common symptoms are blurring, distortion or a dark/grey spot in the central vision.  An OCT scan of the area assists the Ophthalmologist in diagnosing the macular hole and determining if it is full thickness (affects each layer of the retina).  The most common treatment is a vitrectomy, which is a surgical procedure that removes the gel in the eye and places a gas bubble at the edges of the macular hole until it heals.

Epiretinal Membrane

An epiretinal membrane is a thin membrane that forms on the inner surface of the retina.  Typically they cause minimal symptoms and can be observed, however in some cases they can cause a loss of vision and distortion.  It is only when an epiretinal membrane becomes symptomatic that treatment is required, prior to this it can be monitored.  Treatment for the membrane involves surgery with a vitreo-retinal surgery, who peels the membrane to reduce the pucker that it has caused at the retina.

Naevi and Melanoma

Similar to your skin, your retina can get freckles and pigmentation.  Some of these are referred to as naevi or moles, and are monitored over time to see if there is any change.  It is also possible to have a melanoma grow on your retina – initially these may be difficult to distinguish from a naevus, but if the Ophthalmologist notices changes over time or it has features that concern them, then treatment can be necessary.

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