Coats' disease

Labelled Diagram of the Eye

Labelled diagram of the structure of the retina

Coats' disease is sometimes spelt Coates' disease.

It is also known as exudative retinitis, and retinal telangiectasis.

Coats' disease is a rare congenital (meaning present since birth) but not hereditary condition in which the blood vessels of the retina of the eye are abnormally dilated (expanded) and leaking. It usually affects only one eye (unilateral)

This condition of the retinal blood vessels results in subretinal haemorrhage and considerable slow escape (release) of liquid including proteins and white blood cells through the unbroken blood vessels (which is called "exudation").

The consequences of Coats' disease for the patient's vision may include deterioration in either central or peripheral vision.

Symptoms typically become apparent in the form of blurred vision that seems to be worse when one eye is closed. The unaffected eye may compensate for the loss of vision in the other eye, albeit resulting in reduction in depth perception. Pain may occur if fluid cannot drain from the eye resulting in increased internal pressure within the eye. (Though Coats' disease is not necessarily painful).

Although there is a possibility of consequential retinal detachment if the condition develops, in some cases Coats' disease has been known to cease without getting worse, even without treatment. However - anyone with concerns about this or any other medical condition is strongly advised to seek appropriate professional advice in person.

Coats' disease is named after British Ophthalmologist, George Coats (1876 - 1915).

More about Ophthalmology:

This section includes short definitions of many diseases, disorders, and conditions of the eyes and visual system.
For definitions of other terms in this category, choose from the list to the left (but note that this is not a complete/exhaustive list).

Other related pages include

For further information see also our pages of books about ophthalmology.

The following books may also be of interest:

The Aging Eye (Harvard Medical School)
MCQ Companion to the Eye (Textbook)
The Secret of Perfect Vision: How You Can Prevent and Reverse Nearsightedness
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About(TM) Glaucoma: The Essential Treatments and Advances That Could Save Your Sight

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