4 Things To Know About Irvine Gass Syndrome

by May 9, 2023

Cataract surgery is a common and safe procedure that removes the cloudy lens from the eye, which can improve vision. However, like any surgical procedure, complications can occur in some cases. Irvine Gass Syndrome or Cystoid Macular Edema (CME) is one such complication of cataract surgery, and it affects the central macular region of the eye. While this complication is not common, it is possible and should be noted before undergoing surgery. However, there are methods of treating Irvine Gass Syndrome that can result in very good vision and a positive outcome.

What is Irvine Gass Syndrome?

Irvine Gass Syndrome, or Cystoid Macular Edema (CME), is a condition that occurs in some patients after cataract surgery. It is an inflammation of the macula, the central part of the retina, and is typically caused by the accumulation of fluid.

This condition may be noted in the days or weeks following cataract surgery and is one of the main adverse events which is checked for at additional follow-up visits after the surgery.

It is possible to have Irvine Gass Syndrome in both eyes, but in the majority of cases, only one eye is impacted.

Signs and Symptoms

Since Irvine Gass Syndrome impacts the macula and the center of the retina, the symptoms are usually related to the center of vision.

Blurry vision, distortion or waviness in vision, trouble reading, light sensitivity, new dark spots in the vision, and color vision changes are all common symptoms of Irvine Gass Syndrome.

It is also possible that a mild case of Irvine Gass Syndrome does not produce any symptoms and is only noted on an eye examination.

How is Irvine Gass Syndrome Diagnosed?

At follow-up visits after cataract surgery, a doctor will perform an examination of the health of the eyes and can identify changes from the swelling related to Irvine Gass Syndrome.

Additional testing can then be used to better assess the severity of the condition. Tests such as optical coherence tomography (OCT), fluorescein angiography, and an automated visual field may provide better details as to the exact type and severity of Irvine Gass Syndrome.

Treatment for Irvine Gas Syndrome

The treatment for Irvine Gass Syndrome will depend on the severity of the condition. Mild cases may resolve on their own, but moderate to severe cases may require treatment. The two main treatment options for Irvine Gass Syndrome are eye drops and intraocular injections.

To reduce the swelling, steroid eye drops can be prescribed to use multiple times daily.

These drops are often prescribed following cataract surgery to reduce the inflammation within the eyes and maybe restarted if Irvine Gass Syndrome develops.

Only mild cases will be treated with eye drops alone.

More advanced cases will require steroid intraocular injections to allow the medication to directly access the retina.

These steroid injections may need to be repeated if the inflammation does not subside following the first injection.

Determining whether eye drops are sufficient or an injection is needed may require multiple visits to assess for any resolution or progression.


Dr. Nathan Abraham and the staff of the Abraham Eye Center specialize in cataract surgery, LASIK, PRK, and various corneal surgeries.  Call our ophthalmologist in Valencia, CA today at 661-977-7377 or schedule an appointment online if you are interested in learning more about Irvine Gass syndrome.  Our eye doctor provides only the highest quality eye care and surgical services amongst eye doctors in the Valencia California area.

Request Appointment

You can schedule your next appointment with us online!

Connect With Us

Let’s continue the conversation over on your social network of choice.