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The retina is a layer of tissue in the back of your eye that senses light and sends images to your brain. In the center of this nerve tissue is the macula. It provides the sharp, central vision needed for reading, driving and seeing fine detail.

Retinal disorders affect this vital tissue. They can affect your vision, and some can be serious enough to cause blindness. Examples are

  • Macular degeneration – a disease that destroys your sharp, central vision
  • Diabetic eye disease
  • Retinal detachment – a medical emergency, when the retina is pulled away from the back of the eye
  • Retinoblastoma – cancer of the retina. It is most common in young children.
  • Macular pucker – scar tissue on the macula
  • Macular hole – a small break in the macula that usually happens to people over 60
  • Floaters – cobwebs or specks in your field of vision

NIH: National Eye Institute

Stargardt macular degeneration is a genetic eye disorder that causes progressive vision loss. This disorder affects the retina, the specialized light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. Specifically, Stargardt macular degeneration affects a small area near the center of the retina called the macula. The macula is responsible for sharp central vision, which is needed for detailed tasks such as reading, driving, and recognizing faces. In most people with Stargardt macular degeneration, a fatty yellow pigment (lipofuscin) builds up in cells underlying the macula. Over time, the abnormal accumulation of this substance can damage cells that are critical for clear central vision. In addition to central vision loss, people with Stargardt macular degeneration have problems with night vision that can make it difficult to navigate in low light. Some affected individuals also have impaired color vision. The signs and symptoms of Stargardt macular degeneration typically appear in late childhood to early adulthood and worsen over time.

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