What is Stargardt's Disease?
Find out more about this rare eye condition which affects the central vision
Inherited eye disease
Stargardt’s is an inherited, juvenile form of Macular Degeneration. The condition is rare and progressive, meaning sight loss deteriorates.
Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 10 and 20, but can be diagnosed when older. I was 22 when I first noticed problems, and 24 when I was diagnosed with Stargardt's Disease.
There is currently no treatment or cure. Trials and research are taking place, but at the moment there is nothing we can do to reverse or stop sight loss from Stargardt's Disease.
Glasses won't fix it
Although I sometimes wear glasses, I wear a very weak prescription to help boost my peripheral vision - they don’t make any difference to my missing central vision.
Central vision loss
Stargardt’s primarily affects your central vision, which is ‘where you look’, but it also deals with fine detail, straight lines and colour. For me, my central vision only is missing.
When I was first diagnosed, I had a small missing patch of vision in my left eye.
Stargardt's is a progressive condition affecting the macula, at the back of the eye.
My central vision deteriorated gradually over 8 years, leaving me with a large blank patch in the middle of both eyes and flashing white and green lights over the top.
People with Stargardt’s need to wear sunglasses all year round, to protect their eyes from UV light from the sun. Direct sunlight can make Stargardt's progress and bright light can feel painful for those with Stargardt's as they are photophobic.
Changes from dark to light, or light to dark, can also be difficult for those with Stargardt's Disease.
Faces, writing, tv and detail
For me, having Stargardt's means I have difficulty in recognising faces as I cannot see the details of someone's face if they are more than 1 metre away.
To read comfortably I need font size 48 or above.
Central vision deals with straight lines and acuity so without it, the world appears with limited detail.
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