posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 12:14 PM
The retina is the light sensitive membrane in the back of the eye. Lattice degeneration is a condition in which there is a thinning in the peripheral
retina. This condition is found in approximately 10% of the general population and tends to run in families. Sometimes the thinning can become severe
enough for a retinal hole to develop in the retina. Fluid from inside the eye may then go through the retinal break. When this happens the retina
separates from its blood supply and the vision may become diminished. This is known as a retinal detachment. Most people with lattice degeneration do
not develop a retinal detachment, however, in people who have retinal detachments, 30% of them were caused by lattice degeneration.
When a person with lattice degeneration is considered to be at high risk for developing a retinal detachment, treatment may be recommended. This
treatment may consist of sealing the lattice degeneration or the holes within the lattice degeneration with either a beam of laser light or with a
freezing instrument. Once the lattice degeneration is sealed, the risk of a retinal detachment becomes markedly reduced. A retinal detachment may
still occur, however, due to the formation of lattice degeneration in untreated areas of the retina or due to the formation of new holes or tears in
other locations. The treatment is not 100% successful and a retinal detachment may even occur from a retinal hole in an area of lattice degeneration
which has been treated.
People with lattice degeneration should be aware of the four warning signs of a retinal detachment. These four warning signs are:
1. Flashes of lights, brief sparks or flickers of lights that are generated from within the eye.
2. Dark floaters or spots which move with eye movement and are seen under normal lighting conditions. In bright light many people see floaters, but if
one sees floaters under normal lighting conditions this is a warning sign of a possible retinal detachment.
3. A curtain of darkness or a dark area in the field of vision.
4. Blurriness of vision that does not go away with blinking.
If you should experience any of these four warning signs or if you should experience a change in any of these four warning signs, you should contact
your eye doctor immediately for examination. After lattice degeneration is diagnosed, most people should be seen by their eye doctor on a regular
basis in order to make sure that their lattice degeneration does not progress