Sunday, August 24, 2014

Living with Stargardt's Disease




Stargardt disease is the most common form of inherited juvenile macular degeneration. The progressive vision loss associated with Stargardt disease is caused by the death of photoreceptor cells in the central portion of the retina called the macula.
The retina is the delicate light-sensing tissue lining the back inside wall of the eye. Photoreceptor cells in the retina provide vision by conveying information from the visual field to the brain. The macula is responsible for sharp central vision — for tasks like reading, watching television, and looking at faces.
Decreased central vision is a hallmark of Stargardt disease. Side vision is usually preserved. Stargardt disease typically develops during childhood and adolescence. Also involved in Stargardt disease is a region beneath the macula called the retinal pigment epithelium.
While there are currently no treatments for Stargardt disease, the Foundation is supporting several promising avenues of research, including gene, stem cell and drug therapies.
For the latest research advances for Stargardt disease treatments, refer to the Foundation publication Stargardt Disease: Research Advances.

UV blocking sunglasses are generally recommended for outdoors. For people who already have significant vision loss, low vision aides are available.