Central Serous Chorioretinopathy and Fibromayalgia

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Image: Wikimedia Commons

Fibromyalgia can put you at risk of developing a lot of different conditions like autoimmune disease or depression. But a lot of the conditions that fibromyalgia can lead to are things you might not have even heard of like central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC).

CSC is a condition where fluid builds up underneath the retina, which can eventually lead to blindness. So, what is CSC?  How is it related to fibromyalgia? And what can you do to treat it?

What Is Central Serous Chorioretinopathy?

Central Serous Chorioretinopathy is caused by serous fluid building up beneath the retina. The fluid comes from a type of tissue located behind the eye called the choroid. Over time, this fluid accumulates in the tissue of the eye, which causes intense pressure on the retina. And this pressure can gradually damage the cells of the retina which can lead to permanent blindness.

There are a few different symptoms that doctors use to diagnose the condition like:

  • Blurred or distorted vision.
  • Dark spots in the center of your vision.
  • Objects may appear larger or smaller than they really are.
  • Colors may become distorted.

Usually, these symptoms occur in one eye, although they can also occur in both. If you’re experiencing these kinds of vision problems, it’s always a good idea to see a doctor. Doctors can diagnose the condition in a pretty interesting way. They will use special medicated drops to dilate the pupils. Then they inject a dye into the veins in your arm. This dye travels through the bloodstream into the eye where it can be detected by a special camera. The camera can make high-resolution images of the shape of the retina by detecting the dye, and by looking for areas in the eye that are misshapen, the doctor can determine if you’re suffering from CSC.

But why is it that people with fibromyalgia are at a higher risk of the condition than most people?

How Is It Related To Fibromyalgia?

We don’t know exactly what causes CSC, but we think it’s related to psychological issues like chronic stress or depression. And that means that it can affect people who suffer from fibromyalgia. After all, what condition could be more stressful than fibromyalgia? And people who suffer from fibromyalgia are often victim to serious depression as a result of their chronic pain.

So it’s easy to see how these two risk factors can make people with fibromyalgia more likely to develop CSC. In addition, people with fibromyalgia often develop autoimmune disease, perhaps for the same reason. And one of the drugs that is most commonly prescribed to treat autoimmune disease, corticosteroids, can make you more likely to develop CSC.

But either way, if you’re suffering from CSC, you probably want to know how to treat it. The good news is that there are few things doctors can do and that in many cases, they don’t need to do anything at all.

How Can You Treat It?

A lot of cases of CSC resolve on their own after a few weeks. Most of the time, when you’re diagnosed with CSC, doctors will recommend simply scheduling regular visits so that they can monitor the levels of fluid in your eyes. If the fluid begins to recede after a few weeks, there’s usually no reason for any extra treatment.

But if the fluid doesn’t begin to go away on its own, you may need medical intervention. There are a few different types of medications that doctors can prescribe to help treat the condition. And low doses of ibuprofen have been shown to help treat the leakage of fluid into the eye. And these treatments are usually enough to handle the condition.

If the symptoms haven’t gone away within a few months, doctors sometimes recommend surgical treatment. The most common form of surgery for this condition is laser surgery. Basically, the surgery involves using high powered lasers to burn shut the tissue in the eye that leaks serous fluid. This surgery does carry some risks. If it’s done incorrectly, the lasers can damage the eye and lead to permanent blindness.

For that reason, doctors usually like to exhaust all other options before turning to surgery. As always, you should carefully consider your options with your doctor and follow their treatment recommendations.

So, what do you think? Have you suffered from CSC? Do you think it’s related to fibromyalgia? What treatment worked for you? Or did the condition go away on its own? Let us know in the comments.

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