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Lattice Degeneration of the Retina

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Lattice degeneration is a relatively common condition causing areas of peripheral retinal thinning. Although usually not progressive, lattice may lead to retinal detachment and temporary or permanent loss of vision.

In the United States, approximately 10% of the population has this disease. Both eyes are affected in between 30% and 50% of cases. This eye disease is common in patients with myopia, the two conditions often appearing together.

What causes Lattice Degeneration?

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

What are the symptoms of Lattice Degeneration?

Lattice degeneration does not generally present any easily recognizable symptoms. When symptoms are noticed they are usually indicative of a complication (e.g. retinal tear) rather than the lattice condition itself.

How is Lattice treated?

Most lattice does not require treatment. It is controversial whether associated retinal holes should be prophylactially treated with in-office retinopexy (laser versus cryo), especially in the absence of symptoms. Lattice with retinal breaks (holes and/or tears) remains a leading cause of retinal detachment.

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