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What Is Eales Disease?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2016
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Eales disease is a rare medical disorder that affects the eyes. This disease can cause visual disturbances, hemorrhage, and sudden vision loss. Although anyone can develop Eales disease, the condition is most prevalent among young men and typically affects both eyes, although it is possible to have only one affected eye. Symptoms may include blurred vision, the appearance of floating spots in the field of vision, or leakage of blood or the clear jelly-like substance that fills the eyeball. Treatment depends on the individual situation and often involves the use of corticosteroid infections.

Inflammation involving the veins that surround the retina of the eye is one of the primary signs of Eales disease. This inflammation can cause a variety of symptoms, including blurred vision, a pins-and-needles sensation, or an inability to properly control voluntary movements of the face and eyes. The patient may see floating objects or the appearance of cobwebs in the field of vision. In rare cases, speech disorders may develop as a result of increased pressure on surrounding nerves due to the inflammation.

Additional symptoms of Eales disease includes retinal hemorrhage and the leakage of fluid from the eyeball. Retinal hemorrhage involves abnormal bleeding of the portion of the eye known as the retina and is caused from the excessive inflammation associated with Eales disease. The thick, clear jelly-like substance that fills the eyeball may also begin to leak out of the corners of the eye.

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Vision loss may be sudden or may occur over a prolonged period of time. Some patients may experience only mild visual impairment, especially if treatment is started early in the course of the disease. Some patients may experience sudden blindness, although the degree of vision loss varies greatly. If treatment begins in the early stages of the disease, there is a good chance that the patient will not experience permanent vision loss.

There is no treatment for Eales disease that is guaranteed to work in all cases, although many patients respond well to corticosteroid injections. Hormone injections have also proved to be beneficial in some cases. Vitamin therapy is being explored as a possible treatment option, although this method continues to be studied. Additional medications may be used as necessary to reduce swelling. Any questions or concerns about Eales disease or the most appropriate treatment methods for an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

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