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Retinoschisis Causes

Retinoschisis may be degenerative (reticular or typical), hereditary (familial foveal retinoschisis or X linked juvenile retinoschisis), tractional, or exudative (in which case the disease is only secondary to optic disc pit).

Retinoschisis Definition

Retinoschisis refers to the abnormal splitting of the neurosensory layers of the retina. The splitting usually occurs in the outer plexiform layer. In rare cases, retinoschisis results in vision loss. However, in most cases, it remains asymptomatic.

Retinoschisis Diagnosis

Electroretinogram (or ERG) is an important diagnostic test to determine retinoschisis. This process entails stimulating the eye with light after either light or dark adaptation while the patient wears contact lenses embedded with an electrode. The eye's reaction to the stimuli is then documented and evaluated. The ERG test measures photoreceptor activity as well as the overall response of the retina's external layer.

Retinoschisis Symptoms and Signs

RS affects two aspects of the affected individual's vision. First, retinoschisis may impair the central vision. Secondly, the peripheral vision may be damaged as a result of the splitting of the inner layer of nerve cells from the outer layer of cells. In severe cases, retinoschisis can lead to retinal detachments, often as a consequence of a defect in the anchoring of the retina's outer layer to the wall of the eyes.

Retinoschisis Treatment

To date, retinoschisis has no available medical or surgical cure. Treatment is mostly directed towards symptom relief. While glasses may help improve the afflicted patient's vision, they do not repair the damage to the nerve tissue. If detected early, retinal detachment in retinoschisis patients can be treated surgically, but surgery itself does not correct the actual splitting of the retina.

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