Additional Conditions

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Additional Conditions

Additional Conditions

Below are conditions that our retinal professionals at Alaska Retinal Consultants also treat. When you experience changes in vision that do not get better or interfere with your daily activity, you should contact our office to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

Epiretinal Membrane

An epiretinal membrane (ERM), also known as cellophane maculopathy or macular pucker, is an avascular semitranslucent, fibro cellular membrane that forms on the inner surface of the retina. Most often an ERM has few visible symptoms, thus the majority are monitored over time without intervention. There are cases where patients develop painless vision loss and distortion. When an ERM disrupts a person’s vision, it typically involves their macula which is the part of the retina responsible for central vision. In cases where the distortion or loss of vision is significant, a serological intervention would be the next step. 

Retinal Tear

The retina is the light sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye and sends visual messages through the optic nerve to the brain. The vitreous in the eye can pull away from the retina lining causing a retinal tear. Once there is a tear in the retinal tissue, fluid from the inner eye can seep back behind the tissue. It is important at this stage to have the eye evaluated.

Symptoms associated with a retinal tear are:

Vitreous Hemorrhage

Patients with diabetes often develop weak blood vessels in the retina. The weaker vessels are prone to bleeding. When one of the vessels leak into the vitreous cavity, the inner part of your eye, the blood in the eye will block your vision. If the blood does not absorb back into your eye, a visit with one of our specialists will help the two of you determine which treatment plan is right for you. 

Lattice Degeneration 

Lattice degeneration is common, thought to affect about ten percent of the population in the United States. Some people diagnosed with lattice degeneration in one eye may also have the condition in their other eye. 

Lattice degeneration is closely associated with retinal detachments. A third of retinal detachments are caused by lattice degeneration. While lattice degeneration can attribute to retinal tears, retinal detachments, and retinal holes, lattice generation does not itself cause vision loss. 

Ensuring regular visits with our specialists to monitor lattice degeneration will aid in knowing if there is a cause for concern in the retina. If there is an issue that requires surgical intervention this will be discussed with you. 

Myopic Degeneration

Myopic degeneration is characterized by the progressive stretching of the retina which damages the retina. People with severe near sightedness are at a greater risk for myopic degeneration. Myopic degeneration often occurs in young adulthood and can cause blurry central vision, whereas the peripheral vision typically remains intact and unchanged. 

Macular Edema

Macular edema occurs when a disease process causes swelling of the macula. Since the macula is the part of the retina that is responsible for central vision, macular edema usually results in distorted or blurred central vision. 

Macular Edema can have several different causes:

Central Serous Retinopathy

Central serous retinopathy is when fluid builds up under the retina and can cause distorted central vision.  This condition is caused by leaky blood vessels in the choroid, a layer of tissue under the retina. 

Between the retina and the choroid is a layer of cells called the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). When the RPE is not working as it should, fluid builds up under the retina or the RPE.  

This collection of fluid blurs your vision in two ways: 1) Due to the retina being elevated away from the RPE, it does not receive nutrients and oxygen it needs to function correctly; or 2) Due to the fluid collection and the retina not being able to focus where it needs to, the eye is unable to focus properly. 

When people struggle with decreased vision related to central serous retinopathy, they may find that increasing the magnification of their reading glasses may provide temporary relief. 

If our specialists diagnose you with central serous retinopathy, you may undergo special testing called fluorescein angiography.  During fluorescein angiography, a dye is injected into a vein in your arm which travels through your body as well as your eyes.  As the dye passes through the retinal blood vessels, photographs will be taken to show any abnormal areas in your eye including areas with central serous retinopathy.  


Histoplasmosis is a disease that starts as a lung infection which can later move to the eye through the blood stream.  Once in the eye it can cause a serious eye disease called presumed ocular histoplasmosis syndrome (POHS).  This disease is caused by breathing in infected airborne spores from the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum.  Histoplasmosis becomes airborne when people disturb soil when plowing fields, sweeping chicken coops, or digging holes.  Farmers and landscapers are at a higher risk of contracting the disease. It is most common in the United States to find higher instances of histoplasmosis in the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys. 

People who have this disease may never be aware that they are infected.  Tiny scars called histo spots may be the only indication of having POHS.  The effect on the vision is entirely dependent on where the scars are located. Scarring located in the central vision has the most profound impact on a person’s vision, whereas scarring peripherally may have little to no impact.  The symptoms for POHS are similar to macular degeneration symptoms.

Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a term for a group of eye diseases that causes progressive degeneration of the retina.  RP occurs when cells in the retina called photoreceptors don’t work the way they are supposed to, and over time, leads to vision loss.  

RP usually begins with loss of night vision typically followed by gradual loss of peripheral (side) vision.  Symptoms are more often noticed between the age 10 and 40 and, characteristically, the onset of symptoms is gradual.  RP may also result in the loss of central vision and/or problems with color vision. 

RP is genetic condition and is the most common inherited disease of the retina. 

Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology

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