Coats' disease is a rare, congenital, nonhereditary eye disorder, which may cause partial or full blindness to his patients. It is characterized by abnormal development of blood vessels behind the retina. Specifically, the blood leaks from the abnormal blood vessels in the back of the eye, leaving cholesterol deposits, which destroy the retina.
The progress of the disease is slow and at advanced stages there is a high risk of retinal detachment. Glaucoma and cataracts may also develop secondary to Coats' disease.
It usually occurs in the first decade of life and is unilateral (affects only one eye). Predominantly affects young males according to studies.
Symptoms of Coats' disease
The disease is asymptomatic in early stages. The most common symptom is called leukocoria (abnormal white reflection of the retina). In addition, blurred vision, especially when one eye is closed (due to unilateral nature of the disease). However, the good vision of the contralateral eye delays the onset of symptoms, especially in children who believe their vision quality is natural, acting against the 3D visual perception. The vision loss can be started either from the central or the peripheral visual field. Symptoms can also include flashes of light and floaters.
One early warning sign of Coats’ disease is yellow-eye in flash photography. If you think about the "red eye" phenomenon, which is caused by the reflection of blood vessels in the back of a normal eye, the image of an eye with Coats' disease has a yellow reflection, due to cholesterol deposits. These children should be referred immediately to an ophthalmologist, who will diagnose the disease and assess the whole situation.
Coats' disease is painless. Pain may occur if the fluid flowing in the eye (aqueous humor) cannot properly drained, causing increase of the intraocular eye pressure (glaucoma).