Central Serous Retinopathy: Causes and Risk Factors

Central serous retinopathy, also called central serous chorioretinopathy or CSR, is the name for a buildup of fluid under the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye. It's not always known what causes central serous retinopathy, but stress and the use of corticosteroid medications are two risk factors for it.

This article will review common causes and risk factors for central serous retinopathy.

Man with gray hair speaking with female eye doctor.

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Common Causes

Health experts are not entirely sure what causes central serous retinopathy. For now, they focus on risk factors that make someone more likely to develop central serous retinopathy.

Young, myopic (nearsighted) males are more likely to develop central serous retinopathy than others. Those with a greater degree of myopia are at a higher risk. CSR is also more common in people who are in their mid-40s. Yet anyone can develop the disease.


Stress has been shown to be a significant risk factor for developing central serous retinopathy. A 2021 study found that patients with central serous retinopathy had a higher level of reactivity to stressful life events than those without the condition. Patients with the condition also demonstrated fewer traits associated with emotional intelligence.

Lifestyle Risk Factors

Although the cause of central serous retinopathy is not clear, health experts associate certain risk factors with its development. Those risk factors include:

Sometimes, having a combination of these risk factors can increase your chance of developing central serous retinopathy.

If you have central serous retinopathy, let your eye doctor know about any medications you use.


There is not a lot known about the cause of central serous retinopathy. However, health researchers do know of several factors that may increase your risk for it, such as using corticosteroid medicines, being under a lot of stress, and having a type A personality. Men also experience central serous retinopathy more often than women. Young males who are nearsighted and have a type A personality are the most common group.

A Word From Verywell

Although the cause of central serous retinopathy is unclear, eye doctors are well versed in diagnosing and treating it. If you experience blurry vision and other symptoms associated with central serous retinopathy, set an appointment with an eye doctor to find out the exact cause. If you know you have central serous retinopathy, keep any follow-up appointments with your eye doctor.

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5 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  3. American Society of Retinal Specialists. Central serous chorioretinopathy.

  4. American Academy of Ophthalmology. What is central serous chorioretinopathy?

  5. Semeraro F, Morescalchi F, Russo A, et al. Central serous retinopathy: Pathogenesis and management. Clin Ophthalmol. 2019;13: 2341–2352. doi:10.2147/OPTH.S220845