Central Serous Retinopathy
Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR), also referred to as Central Serous Choroidopathy, is a condition where there is fluid leakage in the eye beneath the retina. This fluid accumulates under the macula (which is the central part of the retina), and causes blurred or distorted vision and blind spots.
Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR) can arise without a specific cause. However, some studies have shown that there is an association with – hypertension (high blood pressure), obstructive sleep apnea, corticosteroid use, stress (producing elevated cortisol in the body), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and the bacteria H. pylori.
Dealing with the underlying cause may help to resolve the CSR, otherwise the condition may reoccur and cause an increasing loss in vision.
Central Serous Retinopathy – Natural Treatment Options
There is a great deal of information on the internet about CSR and its treatment. Here are a few natural options to try.
Diet for Eye Health
Eat fruit and vegetables that are high in anti-oxidants, these will help to reduce free radical damage and oxidation of eye tissue. Eat foods that are rich in the nutrients that support good eye health, such as:
Lutein – which is found in dark green, leafy vegetables, kale, spinach; sweet corn and egg yolks
Zeaxanthin – found in sweet corn, egg yolks, clementines, tangerines, oranges, persimmons and capsicums that are orange
Vitamin E – can be obtained from cold pressed oils especially wheatgerm oil. Also in nuts, seeds, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, egg yolks, liver, butter and asparagus
Beta-carotene – which is found in carrots, broccoli, spinach and the marine algae Dunaliella salina
Lycopene – from tomatoes, and tomato products like tomato sauce and dried tomatoes. Also in watermelons, pink grapefruit, papaya and guava.
Vitamin C – obtained from berries – especially blackcurrants. Also in chillies, capsicums, oranges, papaya, citrus fruits, mango, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and tomato.
AVOID : Simple and Refined Carbs – such as sugary foods, white-flour products, white rice, bread, biscuits, cakes and other refined carbohydrates. These set up a state of inflammation in the body, causing increases in pro-inflammatory compounds.
AVOID : Fried food, fizzy drinks, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and other stimulants – may also cause an inflammatory response in the body. Caffeinated drinks (such as coffee) seem to have a link with CSR – the caffeine increases the cortisol level in the body (which is a trigger for CSR).
Eye Herbs and Supplements
Herbs that will help micro-circulation and capillary health for Central Serous Retinopathy, include:
Bilberry Extract/Tincture – The anthocyanosides (anti-oxidants) found in bilberries may strengthen blood vessels and improve eye circulation. They can also help to protect the retina, as well as assist against macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts.
Ginko Biloba – This herb is made up of many components, the most important ones being flavonoids and terpenoids. Studies have shown that flavonoids have a protective effect towards nerves, heart muscle, blood vessels, and the retina. Terpenoids seem to enhance blood flow by dilating blood vessels and reducing the stickiness of platelets. This study shows that ginko effectively improved retinal capillary blood flow rate in patients with diabetic retinopathy.
A supplement that is vital for good eye health is:
Astaxanthin – This is a carotenoid that has powerful antioxidant properties, and is produced by the micro-algae Haematococcus pluvialis. It is able to cross the blood-retinal barrier and hence effect the health of the eye.
Herbs for Stress
These herbs may help to deal with stress, which is an underlying factor in many CSR cases. They are all good adaptogens that can balance cortisol.
Ashwagandha – this has immune modulating effects that support the immune system, as well as lowering cortisol and calming anxiety.
Rhodiola Rosea – this helps to brings relief to mental and physical fatigue. It increases cognitive vitality, and protects against environmental stress (eg radiation, chemicals).
Shizandra – this helps to support liver function and digestive health, as well as improving the capability to deal with stress.