Lattice Degeneration

Lattice degeneration, or simply “lattice” is a degeneration or thinning of the peripheral retina. Although it can come in many different variations, a typical appearance looks like the lattice crust on a fruit pie – a straight, linear, and criss crossed pattern. Lattice is very common, occurring in about 8% of the population. When present in one eye, 50% of the time it is present in the other eye as well. Lattice degeneration is a risk factor for the development of a retinal detachment because it is an inherent area of weakness within the retina. About 30% of retinal detachments stem from lattice. Occasionally, prophylactic laser treatment is indicated to treat an area of lattice degeneration to reduce the risk of retinal detachment. Sometimes, close observation is appropriate as well as long as the patient is aware of the signs and symptoms of a retinal tear and detachment. The decision to treat lattice degeneration with laser is not always “black and white” – a discussion with your retina doctor is advised.