Eales Disease is a rare disorder of sight that appears as an inflammation and white haze around the outercoat of the veins in the retina. The disorder is most prevalent among young males and normally affects both eyes. Usually, vision is suddenly blurred because the clear jelly that fills the eyeball behind the lens of the eye seeps out (vitreous hemorrhaging).
Eales Disease usually presents as blurred vision resulting from oozing of the clear jelly-like substance from behind the lens of the eye. At the onset of the disorder, the small outer veins of the retina show sheathing (encapsulation or covering). As the disease progresses, the inflammation around the veins in the retina extends further behind the lens. Eales Disease may also be associated with peripheral retinal neovascularization which is the formation of new blood vessels on the outer part of the retina.
The more advanced cases of Eales Disease are characterized by a non- inflammatory degenerative disease of the retina (retinopathy) and extensive bleeding in the retina. The colorless jelly that fills the eyeball behind the lens oozes from the retina (vitreous hemorrhage) and, in rare cases, the retina may become detached. A reddish discoloration of the iris may be present (rubeosis iridis), and there may be loss of vision and damage to the optic disk (neovascular glaucoma). Clouding of the lens of the eye that obstructs the passage of light (cataracts) may develop as the disease progresses.
The exact case of Eales Disease is not known. This disorder seems to occur spontaneously because no precipitating factors such as injury, infection, or heredity appear to be involved.
Eales Disease is a rare disorder that affect males and females in equal numbers.
Treatment of Eales Disease is symptomatic and supportive. The surgical process of coagulating tissue with a laser beam (laser panretinal photocoagulation) may be used to eliminate the deficiency of blood in the retina caused by constriction of blood vessels and to slow down excessive formation of blood vessel tissue.
Hemorrhaging of the clear jelly that is behind the lens of the eye (vitreous) and detachment of the retina) may be helped by the removal of the dark pigmented disk and jelly-like substance behind the retina (pars plana vitrectomy.
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Sulochana KN, et al., Eales’ disease: increased oxidation and peroxidation products of membrane constituents chiefly lipids and decreased antioxidant enzymes and reduced glutathione in vitreous. Curr Eye Res. 1999;19:254-59.
Shanmugam MP, et al., Long term visual results of vitrectomy for Eales disease complications. Int Ophthalmol. 1998;22:61-64.
Badrinath SS, et al., Vitreoschisis in Eales’ disease: pathogenic role and significance in surgery. Retina. 1999;19:51-54.
Eller AW, et al., Peripheral retinal neovascularization (Eales disease) associated with the factor V Leiden mutation. Am J Ophthalmol. 1998;126:146-49.
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eMedicine – Eales Disease : Article by Daniel B Roth, MD
Rare Diseases Terms – Office of Rare Diseases
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