As I stated last week, my husband has developed Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR) in his right eye.
Central serous retinopathy (CSR), also known as central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC or CSCR), is a retinal condition that causes visual impairment, often temporary, usually in one eye. It affects young to middle-aged people with no previous signs or symptoms of retinal disease. The disease is considered idiopathic (no known cause) but mostly affects white males in the age group 20 to 50. The condition is believed to be exacerbated by stress or corticosteroid (e.g. Prednisone) use. Lack of sleep also seems to play a role.
Symptoms of CSR usually include a rather sudden onset of blurry or distorted vision in one eye, minification of images, reduced color vision, or a central “blind spot” in the involved eye.
CSR causes fluid to build up under the retina. This is the back part of the inner eye that sends sight information to the brain. The fluid leaks from the blood vessel layer under the retina. This area is called the choroid. This results in blurred or distorted vision. A blurred or gray spot in the central visual field is common when the retina is detached. It is usually a temporary condition that dissipates on its own in 3-6 months. Reduced visual acuity may persist after the fluid has disappeared and recurrence of leakage is quite common.
Most patients are followed every two to three months until the condition spontaneously improves. If significant visual loss persists beyond 4-6 months, laser treatment may again be considered.
So, if you remember last week’s post you recall that we surmised that the condition was caused by the “freezing” of a keratosis on Dave’s face that affected a nerve associated with his eye since the blurry vision started within hours of the procedure. Once he visited the eye doctor, however, our theories were proven incorrect when he was diagnosed with CSR. The doctor assured him that there was no way the dermatologic procedure had anything to do with his condition and (because my husband failed to remember to list all of his recent medications) that the condition was caused by stress. My husband is not a very “stressed” individual, so when he returned home with his diagnosis I immediately began my research. A quick Internet search gave me my answer: A few days prior to the onset of his CSR, my husband had finished a 6 day steroid dose pack for a sinus issue. Of course since he was no longer taking the medication, he failed to mention it to the eye doctor. A quick call back to the office confirmed my assumption. His doctor called him back personally to tell him that his condition was most likely caused by the steroids so there was no reason to “stress” over not being stressed. Ha Ha!
Lesson learned: It’s important to tell your physician (or any healthcare professional you see) about your current medications, but it’s also important to remember to tell them about ones that you may have recently stopped taking as well. It helps them perform a more complete diagnosis and may save you return trips to the doctor.
It’s been a week since the diagnosis and Dave is already tired of dealing with his blurry eye. Hopefully we survive the months of healing time without getting too stressed out ,which would probably lengthen his recovery process. Talk about a Catch-22!