Central Vision Loss
Stargardt's Disease affects my central vision. It can be difficult to explain or to imagine how I see, so I have created some images to represent this in some way.
I have also shared some thoughts that go through my head in daily life a s a "VIP"!
I am not an expert at digital art or graphic design. These images are only an idea of how I see. They may not represent how other people with Stargardt's see.
Difficulty seeing faces
My missing central vision means it can be very hard to recognise people, even when they are quite close to me. If a person is over one metre away from me, I cannot see their face clearly.
As the distance increases, this gets more difficult.
I cannot lip read or see facial expressions, so rely heavily on voice, boded language, personality and clothing, as well as context.
When I look directly at something, it is 'missing' in my vision. Therefore, to read, I move my missing patch upwards approximately one inch and read using my peripheral vision.
This means that to read comfortably, the text must be clear, bold and in size 48 font.
My eyes often feel strained from reading, even large print, so I listen to most text, including emails, books and the news.
To read something on a board or a sign, such as at a train station, it would have to be extremely large and with high contrast. I use a monocular to help me if I really need to see something, such as the platform names at an underground station.
I am extremely photophobic, so I need to wear sunglasses and a cap outside all year round. This is a common symptom of Stargardt's Disease.
Direct sunlight can be damaging for people with Stargardt's, so sunglasses are required even if the person is not sensitive to light.
Bright lights indoors can also be tricky for me. I often wear lenses with a pink tint, which help with the glare.
I also have several pairs of sunglasses for different lighting - cloudy, blue sky, gloomy, bright sunshine etc.