Lattice Degeneration

Friday, Dec 1, 2023 by Nisha Gupta, MD

Our topic this month will be lattice degeneration.

What is lattice degeneration?

Lattice degeneration is a thinning of the peripheral retina. It occurs more often in patients who are very nearsighted and those with conditions like Marfan syndrome. People with family history of lattice degeneration are also more likely to have it.

What are the symptoms?

Lattice degeneration does not cause any symptoms and is often found on routine eye exams. However, since the retina is thin, it is easier for tears and holes to develop. This may then lead to a retinal detachment. Symptoms include floaters, flashing lights, and shadows in the vision.

How are they detected?

A comprehensive exam is completed to look for changes in the retina. Doctors are able to see areas in a lattice pattern.

The arrow in this photo points to the lattice degeneration.

Lattice Degeneration

Lattice Degeneration. Image Source 1

The arrow points to a hole in the area of the lattice degeneration.

Hole within Lattice Degeneration

Hole within Lattice Degeneration. Image Source 1

What are the treatments?

Nothing: Usually lattice degeneration does not require treatment and it does not affect the vision. Annual exams are important to monitor for any changes.

Laser: Laser may be necessary to prevent a tear in the retina and is used to treat a tear or hole.

Surgery: This may be necessary if one develops a retinal detachment.

Make sure to see an ophthalmologist immediately for any new symptoms of floaters, flashing lights, shadows, or decrease in vision.

Return next month for a discussion on a new topic!


  1. Images courtesy of Nisha Gupta, MD [return]

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