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What is cystoid macular degeneration?

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Cystoid macular degeneration is a loss of vision in the central region of the eye, known as the macula, caused by the presence of fluid-filled cysts, according to the Cleveland Clinic. It is a less-common form of macular degeneration. Symptoms include blurry or wavy vision and blank spots in the central visual field.

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The condition is also known as cystoid macular edema. In general, excess fluid concentrated anywhere in the body and causing swelling is known as edema, says the Cleveland Clinic. When this happens in the central region of the retina, known as the macula, the fluid concentrates in small cysts, causing problems with central visual acuity.

Although the condition may not manifest symptoms, the fluid in the cysts may cause visual distortions, including straight lines appearing bent, objects appearing smaller than normal, changes in color perception, and abnormal light sensations, states The Free Dictionary.

The most common appearance of cystoid macular edema is one to two months after cataract surgery. It occurs in about two to three percent of cataract surgeries, even if the procedure is performed perfectly. Other causes include diabetes, macular degeneration caused by aging, strokes occurring in the retina and chronic inflammatory conditions of the eye, reports The Eye Institute of West Florida.

If the fluid in the cysts stays in the retina for many months while the condition remains untreated, permanent damage of the macula may result, according to The Eye Institute of West Florida.

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