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Central Serous Retinopathy

What is Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR)/Central Serous Chorioretinopathy (CSC or CSCR)?

Central serous retinopathy (CSR), also known as central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC or CSCR), is an eye disease where fluid builds up under the retina, causing distorted vision. In CSC, the fluid leakage comes from a layer of tissue under the retina, called the choroid. And that buildup of fluid can come from small breaks in a layer of cells called the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). This causes a small detachment under the retina, resulting in a blurred or grey spot in the central field of vision. CSC typically affects one eye at a time but can affect both. It is seen most often in white males, age 20 to 50. While the cause of this disease is unknown, stress and corticosteroid use can make it worse.


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.

Risk Factors

Men in their 30s to 50s are more likely to develop central serous chorioretinopathy than women.

  • Male age 30-50
  • Stress
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Type A behavior (aggressive, competitive)
  • Use of steroids (by mouth, through a vein or inhaled)
  • Helicobacter pylori (H-pylori) infection
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Sleep disturbances like insomnia


Your ophthalmologist will dilate your eye with drops to look at your retina through one or both of the following methods:

Fluorescein Angiography (FA)

FA involves the injection of a small amount of a yellow, vegetable-based dye through a patient’s peripheral vein – usually the arm or hand. The dye travels throughout your body, including your eyes. We then take photographs of your eye as the dye passes through the retinal blood vessels. The dye will show abnormal areas in your eye which can can help your physician identify the areas with central serous chorioretinopathy.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

OCT can also help your physician look at your retina. A machine scans the back of your eye and provides three-dimensional images of the retina. This helps us to measure the thickness of your retina and find any swelling.


Most cases of central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC) will clear up within one to two months without any treatment. Your Texas Retina physician will monitor your condition to see if the liquid in your eye is diminishing.

Sometimes a severe vision loss can occur or the leakage does not go away. If that occurs, your physician can use laser treatment or photodynamic therapy to seal the leak and help restore your vision. There are also oral medications that can be effective in shortening the course of central serous chorioretinopathy in some patients.

Most people with CSC will regain good vision even without treatment. However, it may not be as good as it was before. In addition, about half of patients who have had central serous chorioretinopathy will have it return. Regular follow-up exams will allow your physician to catch it early if it does. This is important because long-term fluid accumulation can lead to permanent vision loss.