Eye Disease Lattice degeneration

Published on July 20th, 2016 | by ddeupree

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Lattice degeneration

Lattice degeneration is a peripheral retina condition in which the retinal tissue is abnormally thin and the blood vessels have a “lattice-like” appearance due to fibrosis.

Lattice degenerationLattice degeneration lesions, usually localized, appear as round/oval or linear patches in the far peripheral retina.

The typical lattice degeneration patient is over 25 years of age and may be myopic (nearsighted). It is typically found in both eyes. Estimates are that 8 to 11 percent of the population has peripheral retinal changes that are categorized as lattice degeneration.

Lattice does not typically cause symptoms, but when symptoms do occur, they include photopsia, or flashing lights in the patient’s peripheral (side) vision.

Many vitreo-retinal physicians associate lattice with higher risk of retinal detachment. Retinal holes can occur in the lesions and tractional retinal tears can develop in rare cases.

Diagnosis of lattice degeneration is done by a well-dilated, peripheral retina examination called ophthalmoscopy. During ophthalmoscopy, the doctor sometimes uses scleral depression – a technique in which she applies slight pressure on the outside of the eye in order to give the her a better view of the peripheral retina.

Detached retinaTreatment of lattice is typically prophylactic. In rare cases, the doctor uses a “barrier” laser to “tack down” the retina surrounding these lesions to avoid the possibility of retinal detachment. If the doctor finds a retinal tear near the lesion, a preventative laser procedure can help avoid retinal detachment complications.

Lattice degeneration is sometimes misdiagnosed. If there are any suspicions of possible lattice, the vitreo-retinal specialist will do a dilated peripheral retinal exam. Regular dilated eye exams to detect and treat any possible complications are a good idea for the symptomatic patient.

An optometrist or ophthalmologist can monitor lattice degeneration but a vitreo-retina specialist will usually perform the treatment.

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