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Lattice Degeneration

What is Lattice Degeneration?

Lattice degeneration, an inherited condition, is a thinning, weakening and degeneration of the peripheral retina. It occurs in about seven to eight percent of the population. It presents in both eyes in about 45 percent of patients who have it.

Complications of lattice degeneration, although relatively rare, include small holes within the areas of lattice as well as an increased risk of retinal tears due to the vitreous gel pulling on the thin areas. The risk of holes and tears can be greater if you have a surgical procedure in your eye such as cataract surgery.


Lattice degeneration does not affect central vision, so it frequently goes undetected by patients until they have a thorough retinal exam. Symptoms that require additional attention and possible treatment include:

  • Sudden onset of a “shower” of constant floaters
  • Frequent light flashes
  • Loss of peripheral vision, like a curtain or veil covering part of your visual field
  • A significant overall decrease in vision

Risk Factors

  • Genetics (can be an inherited condition)
  • Myopia/nearsightedness


Lattice degeneration is usually diagnosed through a peripheral retinal exam.


In many cases of lattice degeneration, no treatment is needed. Your Texas Retina physician will monitor your condition for any signs or symptoms which could indicate you are developing complications related to lattice degeneration that require treatment.

If retinal holes or tears occur, your Texas Retina physician may recommend laser photocoagulation or cryotherapy, depending on the location and associated fluid. The purpose of this treatment is to seal the area around the tear. With photocoagulation, this is accomplished through a highly focused beam of light, and with cryotherapy, by freezing the surrounding area. Both treatments cause the eye to form a scar which prevents fluid from seeping under the retina and causing a retinal detachment.