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Lattice Degeneration


Lattice degeneration is a common condition involving thin areas of peripheral retina and is more common in people who are near sighted (myopia).   While many cases of lattice pose little threat to the vision, some areas may develop holes that increase the risk of a retinal detachment.   In certain instances, laser treatment may be recommended to lower the risk of retinal detachment.

Who gets lattice degeneration?

Lattice degeneration affects about 10% of the population and affects both eyes in about one third to one half of cases. While lattice is more common in near-sighted eyes and may run in families, lattice is quite common even without those risk factors. Lattice usually develops during the teenage years often progresses with age..

How does lattice threaten my vision?

The retina is unusually thin in lattice lesions and the vitreous gel (the gel that naturally fills the eye) tends to have a strong adhesion around the edges of lattice lesions. As the retina becomes thinner in the lattice lesions and the gel undergoes age-related liquefaction and separation from the retinal surface, lattice beds can develop full thickness defects and liquid from the middle of the eye can start to seep through those defects into the space under the retina. A retinal detachment is the spread of fluid under the retina, separating the retina from the wall of the eye.

What would I notice in my vision if I have lattice?

Patients with lattice degeneration have no symptoms in the absence of complications, such as a retinal tear or detachment.  Symptoms of a retinal tear/detachment include new floaters (black spots or cobwebs moving around in the vision), flashing lights (colorless, split second flashes like a lightning bolt), or a curtain/shadow in the peripheral vision.   


How is lattice degeneration treated?

In cases of vision-threatening lattice degeneration, the most common treatment is prophylactic laser retinopexy, an office procedure. During this procedure, laser is applied in a ring around each lattice lesion to create a scar that acts like glue between the retina and the eye wall, thereby lowering the risk of a retinal detachment.

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