There is a type of macular degeneration that can affect those aged under 20, it’s called Stargardts disease. Like AMD it also is a progressive loss of central vision of both eyes but does not affect peripheral vision.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms are very similar to AMD and may include:
- Blurred vision
- Deterioration of central vision
- A central blind spot
- Diminishing ability to perceive colours
- Difficulty adapting from bright sunlight to a dimmer room
Who is at risk and how is it inherited?
This disease is usually an inherited, autosomal recessive disorder. Stargardt's disease can be passed onto children whose parents have the recessive gene for the disease.
In Australia approximately 2,500 – 3,000 people are affected, the majority have the recessive form of the disease. If a family member is diagnosed with Stargardt disease, it is strongly advised that other members of the family also have a test to check for the disease.
Can it be treated?
Like AMD, there is no known cure for Stargardt's.