Macular degeneration is a condition that is usually associated with ageing eyes. This is a problem that is inherited. It is known as STGD Stargardt’s disease and may affect young adults and even kids. Also known as Stargate’s disease, or scientifically it is known as fundus flavimaculatus. According to researchers there should be a difference made between the terms since each of them describe a separate alternative of the visual disease. The term Stargardt’s indicates a group of diseases that are acquired by inheritance, caused by light sensitive cells within the internal back region of the eyes or retina that deteriorates. This leads to a fine focus in the macular region. At times, there may be central vision loss with retention of peripheral vision.

The diagnosis of Stargardt’s disease is done when tiny yellow spots of degenerating tissue or drusen are sloughed from the outer retinal colored cover, or the retinal pigment epithelium. The loss of progressive vision may often result in blindness. Stargardt’s disease is caused by inheritance. Doctors believe that it is passed on to children with both parents carrying gene mutations that lead to the disease. They may also bear recessive genetic traits which may lead to Stargardt’s, although the parents may not have it. According to researchers, around 5% of the human population has genetic mutations that result in various retinal diseases like retinitis pigmentosa or Stargardt’s.

Progression of Stargardt’s

The loss of vision from Stargardt’s disease usually starts showing within the initial 20 years of life. This is especially evident within the childhood years. However, the reason cannot be pin pointed exactly as to when the retinal damage will take place or the rate at which it will progress, since there may be variations among the family members who have similar inherited tendencies. According to the May 2006 issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology, a research found that out of three siblings, two demonstrated symptoms of retinal disease early in their childhood, with the third sibling being affected around 19 years of age.

There may even be cases when the fundus flavimaculatus variety of Stargardt’s disease may continue up to middle age, leading to vision problems. According to the reference source, ‘Ophthalmology’, the loss of vision from Stargardt’s disease can be measured on an eye chart from20/50 to 20/200. The laws of the United States define blindness as a person having a visual acuity of a minimum of 20/200 while they are wearing corrective lenses. People with fundus flavimaculatus can experience even more severe vision loss.

Tags: , ,