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Central Serous Chorioretinopathy

What Is Central Serous Chorioretinopathy?

Central serous chorioretinopathy is when fluid builds up under the retina. This can distort vision. The fluid leakage comes from a layer of tissue under the retina, called the choroid. There is another layer of cells called the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). When the RPE doesn’t work as it should, fluid builds up under the RPE. As a result, a small detachment forms under the retina, causing vision to become distorted.


Source: US National Institutes of Health, NIH


OCT shows area of detachment as hyporeflectivity between neurosensory retina and RPE

Reference: Roh et al. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol (2016).
DOI 10.1007/s00417-015-3262-1

What causes CSC?

Often CSC is idiopathic which means no cause is found to explain why it occurred. However, several possible risk factors have been identified. The condition seems to occur more frequently in people:

  • with a Type A personality (individuals who are stressed and find it hard to relax)
  • who use steroid medication
  • during pregnancy
  • with Cushing syndrome

When you are under stress, your body releases a natural steroid into your bloodstream called cortisol which helps your body to cope. Although cortisol is essential for your health, raised levels of cortisol can sometimes cause problems for your body. This can include immune suppression (reducing the body’s ability to fight infection) and increased fragility and permeability of the blood vessels.

Symptoms of central serous chorioretinopathy

Symptoms of central serous chorioretinopathy can include:

  • distorted, dimmed, or blurred central vision
  • a dark area in your central vision
  • straight lines may appear bent, crooked or irregular in your affected eye
  • objects may appear smaller or further away than they are
  • when you look at a white object, it may appear to have a brownish tinge or appear duller in color