Cystoid Macular Edema

OVERVIEW

Cystoid macular edema (CME), or swelling of the macula, typically occurs as a result of disease, injury or more rarely, eye surgery. Fluid collects within the layers of the macula causing blurred, distorted central vision. CME rarely causes a permanent loss of vision, but the recovery is often a slow, gradual process. The majority of patients recover in 2 to 15 months.  In this retinal photograph, the swelling appears as yellowish spots (indicated by the blue arrow) in the macula.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • Blurred central vision
  • Distorted vision (straight lines may appear wavy)
  • Vision is tinted pink
  • Light sensitivity

DETECTION AND DIAGNOSIS

It is very difficult to detect CME during a routine examination. A diagnosis is often based on the symptoms of the patient and a special dye test called a fluorescein angiogram (FA).

TREATMENT

The first line of treatment for CME is usually anti-inflammatory drops. In certain cases, medication is injected near the back of the eye for a more concentrated effect. Oral medications are sometimes prescribed to reduce the swelling.

St. Luke's Cataract & Laser Institute provides this on-line information for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice.  Information published on this St. Luke's website is not intended to replace, supplant, or augment a consultation with an eye care professional regarding the viewer/user's own medical care.  St. Luke's disclaims any and all liability for injury or other damages that could result from use of the information obtained from this site.

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