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Central serous chorioretinopathy

Laser treatment for retinal stress

Burnout disease is treatable.

Central serous chorioretinopathy is an eye disease which primarily affects middle-aged people. It involves the collection of fluid under the retina. If this does not revert spontaneously, visual disturbances occur. The illness will then require treatment.

Quick facts:

Treatment Treatment may be provided as a supportive measure in addition to stress reduction. Drug therapy is introduced initially. If it doesn’t work or in the case of a chronic course, the ophthalmologist may revert to laser treatment. 

Symptoms A "gray" patch, distorted or blurred vision on one side, changes in the perception of colors and contrast.

Risk factors Emotional or physical stress, taking cortisone, depression.

Technical terms Central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR), also known as central serous retinopathy. From the Greek: pathos = suffering and Latin serum = blood fluid. In everyday life, people also talk about "burnout disease".

    Quick Facts Netzhauterkrankungen

    Triggers and causes of central serous chorioretinopathy

    Fortgeschrittenes Stadium RCS

    Vision with advanced stage CSCR

    Frühes Stadium RCS

    Vision with early stage CSCR

    Gesundes Auge

    Vision with a healthy eye

      No specific cause is known. In addition, stress and, under certain circumstances, treatments with cortisone are typical triggers. Men aged between 20 and 50 are the most commonly affected.

      In central serous chorioretinopathy, a leak appears in Bruch’s membrane, the layer separating the retina and the choroid. Fluid from the choroid flows through this into the retina and causes it to swell. This leads to insufficient supply to the nerve cells. The cells can then die, therefore causing vision problems.

      Forms of central serous chorioretinopathy

      A distinction is made between acute and chronic forms of central serous chorioretinopathy.

      Acute form of progression

      Frühes Stadium RCS

      It is primarily young men who are affected by the acute form. In these patients, changes go back easily. This happens within a few weeks or months. Vision is slightly impaired. Visual disturbances are temporary, except in rare cases. Repeat flare-ups may occur, however.

      Chronic form

      Fortgeschrittenes Stadium RCS

      If the illness does not go away spontaneously, it is known as chronic CSCR. It keeps coming back. Loss of sight is a rare outcome. However, lasting visual impairment can occur in severe cases.

      Symptoms & Course

      In general, the progression of central serous chorioretinopathy is painless. Initially, glare effects occur as typical symptoms. They usually only affect one eye, but do not subside. These are accompanied later by distortions in the middle of the field of view. Depending on the location and size of the swelling, there may also be spots or rings. These become particularly pronounced when working in semi-darkness or when squinting. In very advanced stages, low-contrast or even gray areas can arise. The disease normally heals within a few weeks. If not, treatment measures must be taken.


      • Glare effects
      • Image distortions
      • Spots or rings
      • Loss of contrast
      • Disturbed color vision


      Firstly, your ophthalmologist will examine the retina with the slit lamp. He may find swelling of the macula. An angiography is then performed to investigate its origin. For this purpose, a dye is injected into a vein in the arm. This helps to find the leakage source in the choroidal tissue. "Optical coherence tomography" (OCT) is also often recommended. It allows the individual layers of the retina to be depicted. This improves check-ups over the course of treatment.


      OCT cross section

      OCT und Navilas Laser


      Fluoreszenzangiographie und Navilas Laser

      Fluorescein angiography


      Slit lamp

        The course of treatment for CSCR with the Navilas® system


        In many cases, the disease heals by itself after a month. Several factors must be taken into account with self-healing. These include abstinence from smoking and avoiding medications containing cortisone. Reducing stress can also help. If no improvement occurs after a few weeks, treatment may be considered.

        Find out more about treatment with the Navilas® Laser System

        Drug approaches

        Drug approaches

        At present, there is no tried-and-tested “standard treatment”. Medications are often used as a first approach. These are often not entirely successful, however. Further treatment approaches may be employed in such cases. A frequently used treatment is photodynamic therapy. In this case, a medication is injected into a vein and activated via a light source in the eye. Another option is the injection of what is called a VEGF inhibitor directly into the eyeball. 

        Microsecond pulsing laser treatment

        Microsecond pulsing laser treatment

        The use of a microsecond pulsing laser is also an option. It protects the surrounding tissue and activates healing. Although the precise mechanism of action is not yet understood, clinical studies have displayed good outcomes. Navilas® provides the ophthalmologist with specific support in this treatment. Thus, even if effects are invisible to him, laser spots can be applied precisely and evenly with the option of digital documentation for easy traceability.

        Learn more about Navilas

        Microsecond pulsing therapy

        Suprathreshold laser treatment

        Suprathreshold laser treatment

        Laser coagulation may be recommended for severe disease and leakages outside the area of sharpest vision. This obliterates the point where the leakage is found. A small scar develops on the retina.

        With conventional laser systems, this type of therapy is a challenge that is only considered as an option in a small number of cases. With the Navilas system navigation, it is possible to precisely localize and position the laser on the point of the leakage. This can significantly minimize impairments.

        Learn more about Navilas

        Suprathreshold treatment of CSCR with Navilas®

        “With navigated laser therapy, coagulation of the leakage points can be well planned, and that coagulation can be precisely treated afterwards. The precision is far superior to the conventional laser, and the subthreshold energy allows the prevention of laser-induced side effects.”

        Dr. Antonia Joussen, Clinic for Ophthalmology, Charité University Medical Center Berlin

        We would like to point out that OD-OS, as a device manufacturer, does not answer any questions about individual disease pattern, does not make any diagnoses or perform examinations or treatments. The present website is a pure knowledge platform, which is the result of direct communication with physicians and serves as a source of information for you. Whether or not the therapies described are suitable for you can only be decided by your ophthalmologist - on the basis of a comprehensive examination of your state of health and your eyes. Please also carefully read the „Legal Notice“ and our „Privacy Policy“.

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