Stargardt Disease
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What is Stargardt's Disease?

Stargardt's is the most common form of inherited juvenile macular degeneration. People with Stargardt's lose central vision, but keep their side vision.

The disease is usually diagnosed in individuals under 20 when vision loss is noticed. A person's retina with Stargardt's has a macular lesion surrounded by yellow-white spots with irregular shapes. The macula is in the center of the retina and is responsible for the fine, detailed central vision that is lost.

Among people with Stargardt's, vision loss is varied. One study of 95 individuals with Stargardt's showed that once a visual acuity of 20/40 was reached, there was often rapid  vision loss until acuity was reduced to 20/200, or legal blindness.

By age 50, approximately 50 percent of all those studied had visual acuities of 20/200 or worse. Eventually, almost all individuals with Stargardt's are expected to have visual acuities in the range of 20/200 to 20/400. This vision loss cannot be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. In late stages of the disease, there may also be noticeable impairment of color vision.