Help and frequently asked questions

What is the treatment for ciliary effusion?


There are many conditions that can affect your eyes, and ciliary effusions are one of them. A ciliary effusion is when fluid accumulates in the choroidal layer. This is the space between the sclera (white of the eye) and the choroid (blood vessels and connective tissue between the sclera and retina) and the ciliary body (structure of the eye that releases aqueous humour). Essentially, it is the structure between the retina and the iris. 

In a normal eye, this space is virtually nonexistent, with the choroid sitting close to the sclera. It can be spotted under a microscope or by use of a biomicroscopy. However in some cases they cannot be detected using conventional ultrasound and need to be imaged by UBM.

What are the causes of ciliary body effusions?

Unfortunately, the cause may be idiopathic, which means there is no way to determine it. Otherwise it could be the result of systemic or ocular abnormality.Sometimes it can be a result of glaucoma surgery or other intraocular surgeries, or from trauma. Medications can also cause this swelling.

What are the treatments?

The treatment depends on the cause of the effusion, so it is best to discuss this with an eye specialist so that you can have the procedures you require. In most cases, you will be put under observation, as effusions often resolve themselves. However, this may only occur if they are small in size and duration. Often these will not affect visual outcomes or the surgical outcome of a glaucoma operation. If they are more aggressive, medication may be needed to treat the inflammation. This can be in the form of topical and oral steroids to reduce the swelling. Surgical drainage is another option if vision is affected or if the effusions are long-lasting.

This takes some skill, however, and must be performed by an eye specialist as it is essential to determine the best drainage site in the sclera.An incision will be made into the suprachoroidal space and the fluid released. In this procedure, it is important to keep the eye pressurised with an injection of balanced salt solution. The incision may need to be pulled open using forceps of a cautery to make the fluid drain properly. Sutures will be required to close the incision once the fluid has been drained.It is important to follow all your eye specialist's advice if you have been diagnosed with a ciliary effusion. They will be able to give you more information should you require it.