• What is Central Serous Chorioretinopathy?

    Written By:
    Reviewed By: Ninel Z Gregori MD
    Sep. 04, 2019

    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. The layer of cells between retina and choroid is called the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). When RPE does not work as it should, fluid builds up under the retina or the RPE resulting in a small detachment and visual distortion.

    This image from an OCT scan
    shows how central serous
    retinopathy (also called central
    serous choroidopathy) causes a
    blister-like swelling in layers of
    the retina.


    Central serous chorioretinopathy usually affects just one eye at a time, but both eyes can be affected at the same time.

    Central serous chorioretinopathy symptoms

    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

    Who is at risk for central serous chorioretinopathy?

    Men in their 30s to 50s are more likely to develop central serous chorioretinopathy than women. Stress is a major risk factor. People under a lot of stress may be more likely to develop central serous chorioretinopathy.

    Other risk factors for central serous chorioretinopathy are:

    • use of steroids (by mouth, through a vein or even inhaled)
    • Helicobacter pylori infection (a type of bacteria that can infect the stomach)
    • autoimmune disease (when the body attacks its own tissues)
    • sleep disturbances like insomnia (having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep) or sleep apnea (when breathing is interrupted during sleep)
    • type A behavior (aggressive and competitive behavior)
    • hypertension (high blood pressure)