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Retinal fibrosis - a membrane that cloudes the gaze
Retinal fibrosis - a membrane that cloudes the gaze

Perfect vision today is more likely the exception than the rule, and we owe much of this to modern living conditions, and eye problems only get worse with age.

Among the many menacing-sounding names for various ailments of the organs of vision, such a diagnosis as retinal fibrosis sounds no less threatening, but before falling into panic, it is worth familiarizing yourself with what it is, how this phenomenon is provoked, and what can be done to prevent get rid of him.

The onset and course of the disease

Retinal fibrosis is one of the most common ophthalmic diseases, in which a whitish formation is formed in the region of its central part, visually resembling a cobweb. The main provocateur of the disease is the accumulation of collagen fibers in this area, from which this peculiar membrane is formed.

Most of the eyeball is formed by the vitreous, which is a jelly-like substance containing many fibers. The latter are tightly connected to the retina at one end.

Over time, the vitreous body decreases in volume, which leads to its wrinkling, and subsequently to the separation of its fibers from the retina.

Thus, a membrane is formed, which is fibrosis.

In some cases, this phenomenon does not provoke any serious consequences, but only on condition that the degree of the disease is not pronounced.

But the complications of fibrosis can be quite serious. If the retinal membranes are damaged, the process of retinal repair can be started, which leads to the formation of scar tissue, which is tightly attached to it. When this tissue contracts, it changes its shape. When scar tissue is placed in its center, visual acuity decreases.

Retinal fibrosis does not always lead to loss of vision, and how the patient should behave depends largely on the consequences of the disease.

Symptoms of the phenomenon

The initial stage of the disease usually proceeds latently, but over time, fibrosis often increases in size, due to which it begins to displace the retina, or rather the macula, its central part. As a result, swelling occurs, which is one of the symptoms of the problem.

As the disease progresses, a hole forms in the macula due to the detachment of the formation, due to which visual acuity decreases.

Other symptoms of fibrosis are:

  • Distortion of images perceived by the eye;
  • Duplication of the "picture";
  • Difficulty in recognizing small letters when reading, perceiving small objects;
  • Fogging, a feeling of a veil in front of the eyes;
  • Decreased ability to normally perceive light rays by the eye;
  • Deterioration of vision, which is especially acute in poor lighting conditions.

In most cases, retinal fibrosis develops rapidly, provoking a rapid deterioration in vision. But there are other situations - when the development of the disease is slow. Medical statistics also say about such cases when it stops progressing altogether.

Causes of the disease

Doctors attribute this ailment to age. The older the person, the more the risk of retinal fibrosis increases. The majority of patients who deal with this problem are people of 50 or more years.

Usually the disease is a consequence of other ailments:

  • Detachment of the vitreous body;
  • Eye trauma;
  • Uveitis;
  • Diseases of the eyes. At the same time, such a method of treating eye pathologies as an operation can also cause fibrosis;
  • Diabetes;
  • Inflammatory processes in the body, hemorrhages.

Increases the risk of illness and the patient's wrong lifestyle - bad habits, unhealthy diet. This category also includes frequent, long-term spending time watching TV, at the computer.


It is impossible to eliminate the fibrosis that has appeared on the retina of the eye by conservative methods.

Treatment of the disease will be effective only with surgery. In many cases, surgical intervention is avoided. The appropriateness of this approach is determined by the doctor. In such cases, the patient is shown medical supervision, control of the dynamics of the disease.

If the visual function is slightly impaired, the patient can get used to the slight discomfort, thereby avoiding treatment in the form of surgery.

In this case, the progression of the disease can stop without bringing additional troubles to the patient.

In addition, in some cases, the scar tissue can detach from the retina without outside intervention, so that vision will be restored and the discomfort will disappear. True, this is not always the case.

Pronounced dysfunction of the organs of vision, deterioration of the patient's quality of life are indications for surgery. You should not be afraid of this method of treatment. Usually this type of surgical intervention is used, such as vitrectomy.

This procedure involves the excision of the vitreous substance from the area of formation of the membrane, which protects the eye from changing the position of the retina. The removed substance is compensated by the introduction of a saline solution, which preserves vision and the transparency of the optical structure. Other substances selected by the doctor individually can also be used for this.

Scar tissue formed in the macula is also subject to excision.

The operation is performed under local anesthesia. It lasts about 2-3 hours, almost never causes unpleasant consequences, and the patient can leave the clinic on the same day it was carried out. At the same time, such treatment is very effective, and although the patient's vision is not completely restored in all cases, he begins to feel much better.

The rehabilitation period after surgery lasts about 3 months. Depending on the severity of fibrosis, the amount of surgical intervention is indicated. The vitreous body is not always completely removed, and if only a small part of it is excised, the recovery process can take much less time.

The patient should be aware that the operation can lead to complications:

  • Increased intraocular pressure. It is usually caused by the administration of an excessive amount of a substitute substance. In this case, laser correction can be prescribed;
  • Secondary glaucoma. It develops due to a possible pupillary block, due to which the outflow of ocular fluid is difficult;
  • Cataract. Its manifestation is possible six months to a year after the operation and, as a rule, it happens if there was a cataract before the surgery. The elimination of this problem consists in replacing the substance that was introduced during vitrectomy, with the simultaneous replacement of the lens, which is the most effective method of treating cataracts;
  • Re-detachment of the retina. This complication occurs due to its insufficiently strong connection with the vascular network;
  • Clouding of the cornea of the eye. The cause of this problem is the toxic effect of the replacement substance on the corneal endothelium if it accumulates in the anterior ocular chamber;
  • Infection. Usually, with a well-performed surgical intervention, this does not happen. In addition, the doctor should prescribe topical medications (drops, ointments) to help avoid infection.

Efficiency, prevention of complications and recovery time largely depend on how the patient behaves during the rehabilitation period.

Experts give the following recommendations:

  • During the first 5 days after surgery to remove fibrosis on the retina, lifting weights weighing more than 5 kg is prohibited;
  • Protect your eyes from overwork;
  • Physical activity involving sudden movements should be postponed until the end of the recovery period;
  • Cancel going to the sauna (bath), swimming pool for at least the first month of the rehabilitation period;
  • Use the medicines prescribed by your doctor regularly, strictly following the scheme for their use.


Fibrosis that affects the retina is, in most cases, due to the presence of other diseases.

In this regard, preventive measures that protect against this ailment are as follows:

  • Avoid eye injuries;
  • Timely treat inflammation both developing in the eye tissues and throughout the body. This also applies to all other diseases;
  • In the presence of diseases that are practically not amenable to treatment (for example, diabetes mellitus), fully follow all the norms of supportive therapy that the doctor determines;
  • Carry out the prevention of eye diseases - do gymnastics for the eyes, eat well, balanced, play sports, give up addictions.

Retinal fibrosis is a disease that is important to detect in its early stages. This will allow you to consult a doctor in a timely manner and avoid the negative consequences of the disease.

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