Central serous chorioretinopathy, commonly referred to as CSC, is a condition in which fluid accumulates under the retina, causing a serous (fluid-filled) detachment and vision loss. It most often occurs in young and middle-aged adults. Blurry central vision, which often occurs in one eye, is the most common symptom that patients experience with vision loss usually temporary but sometimes can become chronic or recur.
The causes of CSC are not fully understood. It is thought that any systemic exposure to a corticosteroid drug can bring about or worsen CSC. Corticosteroids are found in allergy nose sprays and anti-inflammatory skin creams available over the counter, and are often prescribed to treat a variety of medical conditions.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a retinal scan that can identify very small pockets of fluid or retinal scarring (once the fluid has subsided) in acute or chronic CSC. Fluorescein angiography is another test in which a dye is injected into a patient’s arm vein and pictures are taken of each eye to detect characteristic leakage of the dye beneath the patient’s retina. This test, along with OCT, allows your doctor to make the diagnosis of CSC and to distinguish it from other retinal diseases causing fluid in the macula.
CSC is typically a self-limiting disease, and visual recovery usually occurs within a few weeks to months without treatment. Depending on the severity and timeline of your symptoms, your doctor will choose the best treatment option, which often begins with a trial of observation. Early detection of CSC is very helpful, and most eyes with CSC can be treated successfully to avoid permanent vision loss.