Lattice Degeneration

Lattice degeneration is a disease which affects the retina of the eye, causing the retina to atrophy and become thinner. Lattice degeneration may lead to retinal detachment and temporary or permanent loss of vision. Up to 10% of the population has this disease. Of those, between 30% and 50% are affected in both eyes. This eye disease is associated with myopia, and the two conditions often appear together.

Although multiple theories have been suggested about the cause of this disease, the factors which lead to lattice eye degeneration remain unknown. Diseased eyes have vascular deficiencies, meaning the network of vessels which supplies blood to the retina is underdeveloped.

Lattice degeneration does not generally present any easily recognizable symptoms. Often, when symptoms are noticed they are symptoms of a complication rather than of the disease itself.

The most common complication of lattice degeneration is retinal detachment. When retinal detachment occurs, the patient is likely to experience floaters and white flashes in their field of vision. Floaters are tiny black spots which float in the field of vision. If these symptoms suddenly appear with no warning, they may indicate retinal detachment, and treatment from an Eye Doctor ( Ophthalmologist ) should be sought.

For people with lattice degeneration, prophylactic treatment may be needed to prevent retinal detachment. Laser photocoagulation of retinal tears is the most common prophylactic treatment used for lattice eye degeneration. In laser photocoagulation, a laser is directed at the retina of the eye. The laser is used to cauterize tiny vessels in the retina to repair holes and reduce the chances of detachment occurring. It is aOPD based non-invasive procedure and does not require hospital administration. It usually takes 10 to 20 minutes to complete the procedure after which the patient may immediately go home.

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