Coats disease is a rare eye condition that is characterized by the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the retina. In this disease, retinal blood vessels break and leak into the retinal area, causing swelling. This can lead to retinal detachment as well as other serious eye conditions, such as glaucoma and atrophy. The cause isn’t fully understood, but vision preservation is possible when the disease is detected early.
Can Coats disease affect both eyes?
Coats disease generally only affects one eye but can affect both in some cases. If both eyes are affected, one eye generally exhibits symptoms more than the other.
Stages of Coats Disease
As a progressive disease, Coats disease is categorized into five stages. Determining the stage of the condition’s progression helps pediatric retina specialists determine the best course of treatment.
- Stage I – Retinal telangiectasia: In the first stage of Coats disease, telangiectasias, which are fine red lines caused by enlarged venules (very small blood vessels), appear in the retinal area. Sometimes called “spider veins,” these blood vessels are abnormal but haven’t started to leak.
- Stage II – Retinal telangiectasia and exudation: As a continuation of the first stage, stage II is characterized by leakage from the abnormal blood vessels. As the fluid in the retinal area builds up, there is a greater chance of retinal detachment occurring.
- Stage III – Retinal detachment (partial and total): In stage III of Coats disease, the retina becomes either partially or totally detached from its normal position.
- Stage IV – Total retinal detachment and glaucoma: As the retina becomes fully detached, pressure in the eye builds and transitions into glaucoma.
- Stage V – Advanced vision loss: In the final stage of Coats disease, vision in the affected eye is completely lost. There may also be cataracts and eyeball atrophy.
Coats Disease Symptoms
Symptoms generally appear during childhood and may be mild in the beginning. These symptoms include:
- Loss of depth perception
- Worsening vision
- Leukocoria (whiteness in the pupils)
- Strabismus (crossed eyes)
- Yellow eyes in flash photography
- Discoloration of the iris
- Eye inflammation
Choose Vitreoretinal Consultants of NY for Coats Disease in Queens and Long Island
At Vitreoretinal Consultants of NY, we are dedicated to providing our patients with exceptional retinal care. For us, nothing is as important as your eyesight. Contact us with any questions, or schedule an appointment with VRC today.