Lattice Degeneration: Causes and Effective Treatment

Jun 07, 2024 | 1 min read

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Lattice degeneration is a condition where the retina becomes thin and prone to tears, affecting peripheral vision. Understanding its causes, symptoms, and treatments can help maintain good eye health.

What is Lattice Degeneration?

Lattice degeneration is a condition where the retina becomes thin and prone to tears. It usually affects the peripheral retina, the part farthest from the center of vision.

According to the AAO publication, approximately 6-8% of the general population is affected by lattice degeneration, with a higher prevalence in individuals with nearsightedness.

The exact cause of lattice degeneration is not fully understood. It is often associated with aging and can be more common in people with myopia.

Most people with lattice degeneration do not experience symptoms. However, some might notice flashes of light, blurry visionfloaters, or shadows in their vision.

Lattice degeneration is typically diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. An eye doctor uses special instruments to look at the retina in detail.

Lattice Degeneration with Atrophic Holes

Lattice degeneration can sometimes be accompanied by atrophic holes, which are small, round breaks in the retina. 

These holes do not cause immediate vision loss but can lead to retinal detachment if not monitored.

Atrophic holes form because the thin, weakened retinal tissue in lattice degeneration is more susceptible to breaking. The exact mechanism involves the thinning and degeneration of the retinal layers.

Atrophic holes themselves usually do not cause symptoms. If complications arise, such as retinal detachment, symptoms may include sudden flashes, an increase in floaters, or a shadow over part of the vision.

The primary risk associated with atrophic holes in lattice degeneration is retinal detachment. Retinal detachment is a serious condition that can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated promptly.

Lattice Degeneration Treatment

  • Non-surgical Treatments: Non-surgical treatments for lattice degeneration include regular monitoring and avoiding activities that may cause eye trauma. Eye doctors may advise patients to be vigilant about any sudden changes in vision.
  • Surgical Treatments: Surgical treatments can be necessary for severe cases of lattice degeneration. These include procedures to repair tears or holes in the retina. Laser treatment is a common surgical method. It creates small burns around lattice degeneration areas to seal the retina and prevent further tearing or detachment.

With proper monitoring and treatment, most people with lattice degeneration can maintain good vision. Early detection and intervention are crucial to prevent severe complications like retinal detachment.

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