5 Facts About Lattice Degeneration

Posted on July 1, 2024 • by RCA • in RCA Featured Blog Posts

Originally published by Vitreoretinal Consultants of New York

Lattice degeneration is a common retinal condition that affects the peripheral retina. The retina is the thin layer of neural tissue that is responsible for eyesight; it lines the inside surface of the eye. Lattice degeneration is associated with atrophy, resulting in a lattice-like pattern of retinal thinning. Additionally, it may or may not be accompanied by pigment changes surrounding blood vessels. This article aims to discuss the symptoms associated with lattice degeneration, explore the risks involved, and address whether the condition requires treatment.

Fact #1. Lattice degeneration typically doesn’t cause any symptoms.

Lattice degeneration does not usually cause vision problems, but people with this condition are more likely to develop severe retina conditions, such as retinal tears or detachment. Because most people don’t usually experience symptoms, lattice degeneration is often only detected during a careful dilated eye exam. However, it’s essential to be aware of the symptoms of retinal tears and detachment, including:

  • Floaters; small grey or black spots moving in your field of vision
  • Flashes of light; usually brief ‘flickers’ of light off to the side part of the vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Peripheral field loss in one eye, typically described as a curtain or shadow

Fact #2. Lattice degeneration increases the risk of severe eye conditions.

Lattice degeneartion increases the risk of severe eye conditions, such as retinal holes, tears, or breaks. As the condition causes the retina to thin out over time, the retina becomes more prone to damage. If a tear occurs, it may lead to retinal detachment, which is a severe condition that could lead to partial or complete vision loss.

Fact #3. Lattice Degeneration is linked with myopia.

People with myopia (i.e., nearsightedness) are more likely to experience lattice degeneration than other individuals. Myopia is associated with an elongation of the eyeball, which causes light entering the eye to focus in front of the retina rather than directly on it. This elongation of the eyeball is a common factor in the development of myopia. The structural changes in the eyeball that occur in myopia can contribute to an increased risk of lattice degeneration.

Fact #4. Lattice degeneration doesn’t always require treatment

Although lattice degeneration doesn’t always require treatment, close monitoring by a retinal specialist or other care provider is needed, particularly if you have a history of retinal problems, including retinal detachment. If you have symptoms of a retinal tear or detachment along with lattice degeneration, seeking prompt intervention could save your vision.

Fact #5. Lattice degeneration has an excellent prognosis.

Generally, lattice degeneration has a favorable prognosis when detected and monitored early on, thus preventing major complications and the need for aggressive treatment. Occasionally a decision to treat areas of lattice degeneration with an in office laser procedure. Even in cases where the retina detaches, a retinal specialist can successfully repair the damage through surgery, provided you seek prompt medical intervention.

When to See Your Retina Specialist

It is rare for people with lattice degeneration to have severe vision problems as a result of the condition alone, but it does increase your risks of having other complications. If you have lattice degeneration, it’s crucial that you visit your retina specialist for regular careful dilated eye exams, particularly if you have a history of retinal tears or detachment, myopia, or a family history of retinal problems. If you have any issues with your vision or need a retinal checkup in Long Island, Queens, New York City, or Westchester, contact Vitreoretinal Consultants of New York.

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