Lattice Degeneration: What You Should Know

Lattice degeneration is a condition of the retina which causes an abnormal thinning of the peripheral retina. It is usually diagnosed during a routine dilated examination. Let’s get an overview and discover any dangers from lattice degeneration.

How Common Is Lattice Degeneration?

Approximately 10% of adults have lattice degeneration, yet many are not aware. It causes a thinning of the peripheral retina where the blood vessels appear to look like lattice. It is a condition that progresses slowly.

Since you must have a healthy retina to see clearly, patients are given a dilated exam to look behind the eye to check that the retina remains healthy. This is usually when Retina Specialists of Tampa discovers lattice degeneration. At times, we may also use a slit lamp to look at the inside of the eye.

Causes of Lattice Degeneration

There is no known cause for the condition or defined risk factors, but it seems to cluster within families. Those with myopia or nearsightedness are more prone to lattice degeneration. In addition, there is an association with certain diseases like Marfan Syndrome and Stickler Syndrome.

woman getting eyes examined at doctor

Symptoms And Prognosis

There are no symptoms for lattice degeneration. In fact, there is no cure or way to prevent it.

It is typically found inadvertently during an exam.

What is worrisome is that the condition increases the risk of retinal detachment. It can cause a tear, a break, or holes can develop in the peripheral retina. These must be monitored, since a retinal detachment left untreated can cause loss of vision.

The signs of a retinal detachment include the following:

  • New floaters
  • Flashing lights in your peripheral vision
  • A shadow or gray curtain blocking part of your vision
  • Blurry vision or some change in your vision

Protecting The Health of Your Eyes

While lattice degeneration increases the risk of a retinal tear or detachment, the majority of patients will never experience problems.

However, the most important way to keep lattice degeneration under control is regular exams at our office in Tampa and knowing the signs of a detached retina.

Contact Retina Specialists of Tampa at (813) 973-3333 immediately if you experience any signs of a retinal detachment.