Cystoid macular edema means that swelling (edema) has occurred in the retina tissue responsible for the best vision (the macula) and has an appearance like a cyst (cystoid).
The retina tissue is not one layer but is a sandwich of multiple layers. There is layer called the outer plexiform layer that can fill with fluid and create a cyst-like appearance. On fluorescein angiography the picture has a characteristic appearance called "petaloid" or like the petals of a flower.
There are many conditions that can result in cystoid macular edema. The treatment usually starts with eye drops and many people recover within a few weeks. However, severe cases or cases that do not heal over several weeks to months may require laser, injections, or even surgery.
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