About the disease
Retinal degeneration happens when the condition of the retina deteriorates. Retina is the third layer of the eye. During the retinal degeneration this layer gradually deteriorates, causing the reduction of vision. The eventual outcome of retina degeneration is photoreceptor cell death. When photoreceptor cells do not function properly, they may lead the patient to blindness. Other diseases of the retina are lattice retinal degeneration and peripheral retinal degeneration. During lattice retinal degeneration the retina becomes atrophic and can develop ischemia and fibrosis. Lattice retinal degeneration can result in tears, breaks and holes of the eye. Peripheral retinal degeneration occurs in the corner of the eye. Risk factors, that can contribute to development of this disease, are:
- Older age
- Hereditary predisposition
- Lack of vitamins
It is not known why the retinal degeneration begins. Doctors suppose that the disease has a genetic nature. The causes for retinal degeneration are:
- High blood pressure
- Vascular disease
- High cholesterol levels
- Myopia (increased pressure of the eye)
- Harmful direct sunlight
- Consumption of saturated fat
- Emotional stress
Types of retinal degeneration are:
- Hereditary degeneration
- Pigment degeneration
- Congenital abnormality of retina. Congenital abnormality develops in early childhood. Deteriorating vision can appear as early as the preschool years.
- Acquired degeneration is more common for older people. Sometimes it develops in combination of degeneration with cataracts and other eye diseases caused by age-related changes in the body and metabolic disturbances in the eye tissues.
Depending on the location there are following retinal degeneration types:
- Endocrine disorders
- Metabolic disorders
- Mitochondrial disease.
- Sharp decrease in visual acuity
- Mist before the eyes
- During general examination a doctor examines patient`s eye, using special light, which can show any damage in the retina tissue.
- Doctor use drops that dilate pupils to examine vitreous and retina using ophthalmoscope and slit lamp with special lens. Such drops can cause blurred vision for several hours, but this effect wears off after couple of hours.
Treatment of retina is a long and complicated process and it does not give a positive result. On advanced stage the return of vision is impossible. Therefore, the main task is to slow the progression of the disease, extension of the remission and improvement of metabolic processes.
- The surgery may include transplantation of the retina. Vitreoretinal surgery restores the eyesight. The most effective type of treatment in this case is retinal cells transplantation. Other type of treatment is vitreoretinal surgery, when the vitreous humor is removed and a saline liquid is injected, which would repair the retina.
- Laser coagulation. Retinal detachment is the most serious consequence of degeneration, which leads to complete loss of vision. Using a laser the doctor can heal the damaged parts of certain parts of the eye. Only the damaged parts of the eye are exposed to the laser, leaving healthy tissues unaffected.