What is Cystoid Macular Edema?
Cystoid macular edema (CME) occurs when abnormal fluid accumulates in the macula which is located in the center of the retina. This results in retinal thickening and the presence of cyst-like fluid collections that distort the normal retinal architecture and can impact vision. Our board-certified retina specialists at Retina Consultants of Houston are experienced in providing customized care for patients with CME, using a variety of targeted treatments.
Causes and Symptoms of Cystoid Macular Edema
Cystoid macular edema (CME) has many different causes, including:
It commonly occurs after eye surgery. This is likely related to inflammation. About one to three percent of all cataract surgery patients will experience decreased vision due to CME, usually within a few months of surgery.
The most common symptoms of CME include:
- Blurred or distorted central vision
- Dim vision
- Decreased sensitivity to light
Sometimes patients with cystoid macular edema experience no symptoms at all.
Your Retina Consultants of Houston physician may obtain multiple types of ocular imaging, including photography, ocular coherence tomography (OCT) and fluorescein angiography (FA) to facilitate diagnosis and treatment of your cystoid macular edema (CME). This includes addressing the underlying cause of your CME.
Treatment and Prognosis
Depending on the cause of your cystoid macular edema (CME), treatment may include some of the following:
- Anti-inflammatory medications, including steroid and/or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications in the form of eye drops, pills, or injections
- Intravitreal injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) medication like Avastin, Eylea or Lucentis
- Surgery such as vitrectomy
- Laser therapy
Diabetes, high blood pressure, and poorly controlled cholesterol can make cystoid macular edema worse and more difficult to treat. These cardiovascular risk factors should be optimally controlled under the guidance of your primary care physician.
Fortunately, most patients with CME can be successfully treated, and vision often improves, although the healing process can be slow and take several months.