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Question:
I was told a week ago that I have thinning of the retina and I'm concerned. I really don't understand how this happened. All I was told was to be careful and watch for any vision change or lights and to call immediately. Should I worry? What's the prognosis?

Answer:
Thinning of the retina can occur in the central retina (macular thinning) or the peripheral retina. Central macular thinning happens spontaneously in a small number of individuals and is unrelated to anything that you have done. In most cases, it does not cause serious vision loss; in rare cases, it may lead to a macular hole and require surgery (which carries a very good prognosis). Peripheral retinal thinning is most often related to a condition called lattice degeneration. This is present in 8 to 10 percent of the population and can be present for many years. Lattice degeneration does increase the risk of a retinal tear or retinal detachment. If you develop sudden onset of flashing lights, new floaters, cobwebs, or a shadow in your peripheral vision, you should call your ophthalmologist right away. This also could require surgery and generally has a good prognosis.

Answered by: Paul Sternberg Jr., MD Dr. Paul Sternberg

Categories: Eye Conditions

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Answered: May 09, 2013

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