Lattice Degeneration

Many people are told they have “thinning of the retina,” but it’s real name is lattice degeneration and it could cause a retinal detachment.

Featured Image | What is Lattice Degeneration

Lattice degeneration is a fairly common, but abnormal, “thinning of the retina” that can cause a retinal detachment.  This type of degeneration affects the peripheral retina, and for reasons poorly understood, increases the chances of developing retinal tears or retinal holes that can lead to a retinal detachment

Lattice degeneration may be found in 8-10% of the population and seems to be found more frequently in families with this peripheral degeneration, myopia and a few rare diseases:

“Lattice” has characteristic findings, but only the presence of retinal holes is concerning.  Not all areas of lattice develop retinal holes.  When found, your retina specialist may feel treatment is necessary to prophylax against a retinal detachment.

Symptoms of Lattice Degeneration

There are no symptoms, but the condition may predispose you to retinal tears or retinal detachment, hence, patients should be on the lookout for symptoms of retinal tears or detachment including:

  • Flashes
  • Floaters
  • Blurred vision
  • Progressive loss of peripheral vision

Patients experiencing any of these symptoms should alert their eye doctor. 

Treatment of Lattice Degeneration

The majority of patients never require treatment and can be safely monitored.  There is absolutely no threat to the vision if a tear or retinal detachment do not ensue.  

The chance of developing a retinal detachment is quite small.  Still, it is recommended that patients with this peripheral thinning be monitored regularly.  Though progression is unlikely, retinal holes can develop over time.  Retinal holes develop slowly and gradually, whereas, a retinal tear can happen suddenly.

Retinal holes from lattice degeneration are treated and managed exactly the same way as treating a retinal tear.  Not all retinal holes from lattice degeneration require treatment. 

Laser treatment is the preferred treatment, however, cryotherapy and endolaser photocoagulation with vitrectomy are viable options as well.

In short…

In summary, lattice degeneration is usually a benign “thinning” of the retina that increases your chances of developing a retinal detachment over your lifetime.  Tell your doctor if you develop sudden flashes and/or floaters or if you experience loss of your peripheral vision. 

If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call us (877) 245.2020.

Nader Moinfar, M.D., M.P.H.
Retina Specialist
Orlando, FL

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