The fovea, also known as the fovea centralis, is located in the center of the macula and is the most delicate part of the retina. The fovea contains light-sensitive cone cells which provide clear, sharp central vision. The fovea is primarily responsible for the ability of the eye to distinguish color. The appearance of a foveal cyst, also known as a foveal pseudocyst, is the first stage in the formation of a macular hole.
Causes of a Foveal Cyst
A foveal cyst develops as a result of the vitreous pulling away from the retina. The vitreous is a gel-like substance that composes most of the volume of the eye. The consistency of the vitreous changes and becomes thinner, as a result of the aging process. These changes can alter the shape of the vitreous, causing it to pull away from the retina. This process is also known as vitreomacular traction syndrome.
Symptoms of a Foveal Cyst
As the vitreous pulls away from the retina, the symptoms of a foveal cyst may include the following:
- Distorted and blurry vision
Diagnosis of a Foveal Cyst
The diagnosis of a foveal cyst will include a standard examination of the eyes and a medical history from the time that symptoms first became noticeable. The following tests, to confirm the diagnosis of a foveal cyst, may include the following:
- Visual acuity examination
- Fundus photography
- Fluorescein angiography
- Scanning laser ophthalmoscope
- Retinal thickness analyzer
- Optical coherence tomography, or OCT
Treatment of a Foveal Cyst
A foveal cyst may stabilize and not require any medical intervention other than observation or it may develop further into a macular hole or a vitreous detachment. Treatment options for a foveal cyst include intravitreal injections and, in some cases, vitrectomy surgery.
To learn more about our Retina and Vision Services, please contact us at (212) 604-9800 today to schedule an appointment.