The yellow fovea : Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

One Minute Ophthalmology

The yellow fovea

Mohan, Sashwanthi; Mohankumar, Arthi; Rajan, Mohan

Author Information
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology 71(3):p 697, March 2023. | DOI: 10.4103/IJO.IJO_2747_22
  • Open

A 59-year-old male with history of trabeculectomy in both eyes (OU) for primary angle-closure (please specify if so) glaucoma 8 months ago came with the complaint of sudden decrease in vision in OU for past 3 days. Best-corrected visual acuity was 6/18 in right eye (OD) and 6/12 in left eye (OS). Intraocular pressure was within normal limits in OU. Anterior segment examination of OU revealed well-formed blebs with posterior chamber intraocular lens. Fundus examination of OU revealed yellowish lesions at the macula, more prominent in OS [Fig. 1a and b]. Optical coherence tomography of OU revealed foveal hyperreflective lesions [Fig. 1c, d].

Figure 1:
(a and b) Color fundus photographs of the macula showing yellowish lesions in the fundus, indicated by black arrows. (c and d) Hyperreflectivity in the fovea extending till the IS–OS junction or the ellipsoid zone. IS–OS = inner segment–outer segment

What is your next step?

  1. Ask for history of cardiovascular diseases
  2. Ask for history of sun gazing, sunbathing, or direct viewing of solar eclipse
  3. Ask for history of new-onset flashes or floaters
  4. Ask for history of hyperlipidemia.


Patient had a history of performing ritualistic sun gazing 3 days ago, following which he developed blurring of vision. Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) scans of OU showed focal areas of nonperfusion in the choriocapillary layer with normal superficial and deep capillary plexus consistent with the diagnosis [Fig. 2].

Figure 2:
Optical coherence tomography angiography - outer retinal choriocapillaries slabs of the right eye (a) and left eye (b) showing showing focal areas of hypoperfusion indicated by white arrow


Solar retinopathy

Correct Answer

B) Ask for history of sun gazing, sunbathing, or direct viewing of solar eclipse.


Solar retinopathy occurs due to photochemical injury occurring in the macula following prolonged exposure to light, like sungazing, eclipse viewing, exposure to welding light, and following endoillumination in rare scenarios.[1] It presents as blurry vision, metamorphopsia, central scotoma, or dyschromatopsia. Diagnosis is made based on the presence of specific history and multimodal imaging including optical coherence tomography (OCT), OCTA, and autofluorescence. The presence of drop-out areas in the choriocapillaries slab indicates the involvement of choriocapillaries in addition to the photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelial cells.[2] It usually recovers spontaneously in 3–6 months, but majority of patients have residual central scotoma or reduced vision.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1. González Martín-Moro J, Hernández Verdejo JL, Zarallo Gallardo J. Photic maculopathy:A review of the literature (ii). Arch Soc Esp Oftalmol (Engl Ed) 2018;93:542–50.
2. Padidam S, Burke MT, Apple DB, Suchomel JR, Lin X. Optical coherence tomography angiography findings in two cases of solar retinopathy. Retin Cases Brief Rep 2021;15:767–71.
Copyright: © 2023 Indian Journal of Ophthalmology