Can stress lead to vision loss?

Jul 05, 2021

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Can stress lead to vision loss?

Pictured above is the Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) of a 26 year old male patient who presented to our office with sudden, central vision changes in his right eye. After going through his initial eye examination workup, we determined his right eye has a condition called Central Seroud Chorioretinopathy (CSR). To date, his left eye is normal and unaffected.

What is Central Serous Chorioretinopathy (CSR)?

Central serous chorioretinopathy (CSR) is a condition where fluid leakage leads to sudden loss or distortion of central vision. During a CSR attack, one eye is usually affected at a time but less commonly both eyes can be simultaneously impacted.

What are the symptoms of CSR?

Patients may experience symptoms such as:

  • distorted, dimmed, or blurred central vision
  • straight lines may appear bent, curved or irregular in your affected eye
  • objects may appear smaller or further away than they are

Who is at risk for CSR?

CSR is often seen in men between the ages of 30-50. Stress is a major risk factor and may trigger a CSR episode. Other common risk factors include patients who use steroids, have sleep disturbances (ie insomnia or sleep apnea), exhibit type A behavior or have an autoimmune disease.

How can we diagnose CSR?

At Beverly Hills Optometry, we advise imaging with Optos and OCT for diagnosing CSR. Optos takes a digital, retinal photography of the retina, while OCT performs a cross-sectional analysis of the macula to measure the thickness and scan for swelling.

What is the treatment for CSR?

Fortunately, about 50 percent of patients with CSR will regain good vision and notice self-resolution within 1-2 months (without any intervention). If the fluid doesn't improve then laser treatment or oral medications may be prescribed to seal the leak and restore vision. It is important to follow-up with your eye care specialist since prolonged fluid accumulation can lead to permanent vision loss.