The retina is composed of 10 layers. Patients may develop a “splitting” of the layers of the retina known as retinoschisis, schisis for “split.” Usually the retinoschisis affects the far peripheral retina and hence does not significantly affect vision. In very rare instances, the retinoschisis may “advance” towards the central retina, or macula, in which case “barrier laser” may be considered. In other rare cases, patients may develop a retinal detachment in conjunction with retinoschisis. If the retinal detachment is progressive surgery may be considered. Most retinoschisis develops over time in our 30s, 40s, and 50s.
Small children or teenagers may occasionally have a congenital form of retinoschisis. This form of retinoschisis (“congenital X linked retinoschisis”) affects males (females are carriers). The schisis usually involves the macula and hence may affect vision significantly.