Lattice Degeneration

The retina is a light-sensitive tissue that lines the inside of the back of the eye. Lattice degeneration is a condition in which there is abnormal thinning of the peripheral retina (the retina used only for side vision). Patients who have lattice degeneration have an increased risk for the development of retinal tears and holes. If fluid gets underneath these defects in the retina it can lead to a detachment which can cause permanent vision changes.

Lattice degeneration can be seen in only one eye but usually occurs in both eyes. About 1 out of every 3 retinal detachments are associated with lattice degeneration. The lifetime risk of a retinal detachment in patients with lattice degeneration is around 1%.


The cause of lattice degeneration is not fully understood but appears in up to 10% of the population. It is most commonly found in patients with near-sightedness (myopia) and does seem to run in families. There is no gender or race predilection. There is no way for a patient to prevent the development or worsening of lattice degeneration.

  • Myopia (nearsightedness is the most common cause of lattice degeneration caused by the increased length of the eye)
  • Stickler Syndrome
  • Ehlers-Danlos
  • Marfan Syndrome


Simulation of Vision with Floaters
Simulation of Vision with Floaters

There are no symptoms associated with lattice degeneration, however in some occasions it can lead to a retinal tear or hole which may be symptomatic. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms you should contact us immediately, at (800) 255-7188.

  • Blurred central vision
  • Flashes of light (usually off to the side) lasting for just a few seconds at a time
  • Floaters (small, dark, shadowy shapes that can look like spots, thread-like strands, or squiggly lines in your vision)
  • A curtain or veil over part of your vision

Diagnosis and Treatment:

A thorough dilated eye exam with the aid of firm but gentle pressure on the eye (scleral depression) may be performed by your surgeon to help with the diagnosis and treatment of lattice degeneration. For the most part lattice degeneration, can be observed closely without treatment as most patients will never develop complications from the thinned retinal tissue. In some instances, your physician may recommend treatment with either of the following options to strengthen the areas around the lattice.

  • Laser retinopexy
  • Cryotherapy (freezing therapy)

Continued follow up with your retinal surgeon is recommended to assure the continued health of your eyes. At Central Florida Retina our physicians have been diagnosing and treating lattice degeneration for over 40 years. For further information or to book an appointment call 800-255-7188.

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