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What is Stargardt’s Disease?

Stargardt’s disease belongs to a group of inherited disorders that lead to the deterioration of light-sensitive cells in the back of the eye (retina). This disorder tends to affect the central portion of the retina which is called the macula and leads to central vision loss. While Stargardt’s disease is relatively rare and affects about 1:10000 individuals, its proper diagnosis is critical because of its genetic nature and ability to be inherited from affected parents.

Symptoms of Stargardt’s Disease

Stargardt’s disease usually develops in children and teenagers. The most common symptoms are:

  • Distortion of vision
  • Blurry or dark areas in central vision
  • Trouble seeing colors
  • Longer for vision to adjust between bright and dark areas

Who is at Risk for Stargardt’s Disease?

Stargardt’s disease is genetic and is passed down by parents. The specific gene for this disorder is known and can be identified using genetic testing. This disorder has an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern, which means that both copies of the gene are defective in an affected individual. Patients with a single copy of defective genes are usually asymptomatic and have minimal changes in their retina.

Treatment for Stargardt’s Disease

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Stargardt’s disease. There is also no treatment available to slow it down. Patients are referred to low vision specialists to assist them with their daily activities. Genetic consultation is established to assess the risk of inheritance in children and other family members.

Schedule a Consultation

If you have Stargardt’s Disease, talk to a specialist at Boston Vision to find out what your treatment options are. We strive to help our patients live a life of clarity. To schedule your appointment, book online with us or email us at help@bostonvision.com to get started.

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