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Stargardt disease

What is Stargardt?

Stargardt disease is a hereditary eye disorder that causes central vision abnormalities at a very young age. It affects the macula, the central part of the retina through which one sees clearly. The symptoms are similar to those of Macular degeneration. The eye condition causes progressive visual impairment and, in some cases, near blindness. This condition usually starts around the age of six or seven.

The eye condition is often a recessively inherited condition, where the person with the condition inherits a gene from both parents to cause this condition. There have also been cases of a dominant variant, in which a gene from only one parent caused the condition. The gene that causes the disease is known, which has increased hopes for a good treatment.

Being told that vision is affected by Stargardt’s disease can turn the world upside down. When the first emotions subside, the knowledge that one is not alone may provide support. There are many people in the same situation, some who have just been diagnosed themselves and some who have been living with it for years.

If you experience visual impairment as a result of Stargardt’s disease, there are devices available that can help with the tasks one has difficulty with. These aids can provide support with tasks that require vision and can help you continue to lead a full and independent life.

Image view without and with Stargardt's disease
Left: normal vision. Right: view with Stargardt’s disease

What can one expect from Stargardt’s disease?

Reduced vision as a result  cannot be corrected with glasses or lenses. The majority of people are faced with significantly increasing visual impairment. In some cases, peripheral vision (sides) and night vision remain intact.

More information about Stargardt’s disease

Extensive information is available about the eye condition. This information is intended to inform you about the most important aspects of this eye condition and is not intended to replace the information one receives from the doctor or eye specialist.

Stargardt disease – information on eye condition | RNIB | RNIB

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