Increasingly distorted vision is a common Retinal Degeneration symptom

Distorted vision: Six manifestations can be distinguished as subgroups of this Retinal Degeneration symptom

Distorted vision: Six manifestations can be distinguished as subgroups of this Retinal Degeneration symptom

Distorted vision manifests itself as a significant factor in the spectrum of symptoms associated with Retinal Degeneration.

This change affects the way in which visual information is captured, processed and interpreted by the eye.

Pathophysiology of distorted vision: causes and mechanisms

The roots of distorted vision lie in the gradual degeneration of the light-sensitive photoreceptors, especially the cone cells, in the retina.

This progressive damage leads to irregular transmission of neuronal signals to the brain. This results in deviating information that is interpreted as distortions in the perception of visual stimuli.

Distorted vision and its various manifestations

Distorted vision can occur in various forms. In addition to the perception of straight lines as curved or wavy, distortions can occur when recognising shapes, structures or faces.

The intensity of these distortions can vary from slight changes to significant deformations.

Here are the different manifestations of distorted vision in the context of retinal degeneration:


Straight lines appear curved or wavy. This distortion can change the visual image and lead to an altered sense of space.


Unequal refractive power of the eyes leads to different distortions of the perceived images. This can impair the perception of size and distance.

Micropsia and macropsia

Objects are perceived to be smaller (micropsia) or larger (macropsia) than they actually are. This distortion can impair spatial perception.

Distorted faces

Facial features can appear distorted or asymmetrical. Recognising emotions and identifying people can be made more difficult.

Wavy patterns

Structured patterns, such as chequerboard patterns, can appear wavy. This leads to difficulties in the visual processing of geometric shapes.

Central scotoma

A central visual field that is affected by distortions and deformations. This can impair reading, face recognition and detail perception.

These different manifestations of distorted vision illustrate the complex nature of retinal degeneration and its impact on the visual perception of those affected.

Distorted vision and the resulting challenges in everyday life: impact on quality of life

For those affected, distorted vision can present significant challenges in everyday life. Simple tasks such as recognising faces or reading texts can be impaired.

Orientation and mobility can be affected, which can limit independence.

Strategies for coping: Dealing with distorted vision

Despite the complex nature of distorted vision, there are coping approaches available. Early diagnosis is essential to identify appropriate aids and adaptive strategies.

Technological advances, magnifying vision aids and rehabilitation can improve the quality of life of those affected by making it easier to deal with the challenges of distorted vision.

Note: Distorted vision is also a symptom of Diabetic Retinopathy and must be differentiated from this diagnosis when taking a medical history.

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