Saudi Retina Group Retina Conditions 26 January 2024

Rare Conditions That Affect the Retina

The retina plays a very important role in our ability to see. Its function is to receive light, convert the light into neural signals, and trigger the optic nerve to transport those signals to the brain. Its structure is composed of a thin layer of photosensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye, making it vulnerable to a wide range of conditions and traumas. While some retina problems, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, are fairly common, the retina is also susceptible to a number of rare conditions.

Birdshot Chorioretinopathy
This autoimmune disease is a form of posterior uveitis, which is an inflammation of the uvea. The uvea supplies the retina with the vast majority of its blood supply. Early detection of this condition can be difficult, as the early symptoms (floaters and blurred vision) are similar to those of many other eye conditions.

Other symptoms can include sensitivity to bright lights, night blindness, distortions in vision and color perception, eye pain, and disruptions to depth perception and/or peripheral vision. Severity can vary depending on the individual and can lead to swelling in the macula, which is the part of the eye that is responsible for controlling our central vision.

Macular Dystrophy
Macular dystrophy is a deterioration of the macula and is thought to be the result of a genetic mutation. It is caused specifically by a buildup of pigment in the macula’s cells and can cause central vision to become warped, blurry, or clouded. There are different types of macular dystrophy, some of which occur in children, while others occur in adults.

Stargardt Disease
This is a genetic retinal disorder that causes vision loss in children, adolescents, and young adults. It is sometimes referred to as Stargardt macular dystrophy or juvenile-onset macular degeneration. The main symptom that patients experience is the gradual loss of central vision in both eyes. Patients may also experience color blindness or light sensitivity.

This is a rare eye condition that is characterized by the retina’s separating into layers. Small cysts form between the split layers, which can damage the nerves and prevent light signals from being sent to the brain. This ultimately leads to blurry vision. In some cases, patients experience loss of peripheral vision or even total blindness. The disorder can eventually lead to retinal detachment.

This is a rare form of eye cancer that affects the retina. It is most common in children but does occasionally occur in adults. Common symptoms include a whitish discoloration in the center of the eye when illuminated by a light, swelling, redness, and eyes looking in different directions.

This condition is often associated with certain types of genetic mutations. These patients are also at a higher risk for other forms of cancer.

Categories: Retina Conditions
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