Retinal Detachment - Predisposing Eye Diseases

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Which diseases of the eyes predispose to the development of a retinal detachment?

  • Lattice degeneration of the retina is a type of thinning of the outside edges of the retina, which occurs in 7% to 10% of the general population. The lattice degeneration, so-called because the thinned retina resembles the crisscross pattern of a lattice, often contains small holes. Lattice degeneration is more common in people with nearsightedness (myopia). This tendency to lattice degeneration occurs because myopic eyes are larger than normal eyes and, therefore, the peripheral retina is stretched more thinly. Fortunately, only about 1% of patients with lattice degeneration go on to develop a retinal detachment.
  • High myopia (greater than 5 or 6 diopters of nearsightedness) increases the risk of a retinal detachment. In fact, the risk increases to 2.4% as compared to a 0.06% risk for a normal eye at 60 years of age. (Diopters are units of measurement that indicate the power of the lens to focus rays of light.) Cataract surgery or other operations of the eye can further increase this risk in those with high myopia.
  • People taking certain kinds of eyedrops have an increased risk of developing a retinal detachment. Pilocarpine (Salagen), which for many years was a mainstay of therapy for glaucoma, has long been associated with retinal detachment. Moreover, by constricting the pupil, pilocarpine makes the diagnostic exam of the peripheral retina more difficult, possibly leading to a delay in the diagnosis.
  • Individuals with chronic inflammation of the eye (uveitis) are at increased risk of developing retinal detachment.
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Comment from: Trailfac, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 30

I had a small melanoma which, according to the doctor, produced fluid which detached my retina.

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