Hi, my name is Sally, I’m 27 and I live in Lancaster, Lancashire, North West England.
I have always suffered from eye complaints and regularly taken to the Opticians by my parents since the age of 7, as I always said I could make things disappear when I looked at them!! We got told I had a lazy eye, got referred to a special clinic and given various eye exercises, which didn’t improve anything.
I continued to get on with things and go to the regular eye tests, where the Optician continued to tell me there was nothing he could do …. I did this all through school and college and when I was 21 I was finally given glasses with prisms in the lenses to assist my ‘lazy eye’. A year later, at my check up appointment, I was told my eyes had improved, the lenses didn’t need as many prisms in them and got some new glasses, which have stayed the same till I was 26.
In March last year (2003), at my regular eye check up, a new Optician told me he couldn’t understand what was wrong with me and suggested that I may be dyslexic!! He referred me to an Opthamologist and I recently just finished having all my tests (March 2004) and am now waiting for the diagnosis from the Opthamologist. During the past year however, my eyesight has deteriorated rapidly and last October I was told I shouldn’t drive anymore and have also been signed off on sick leave by my boss …. which was definately not my choice!! During the time I haven’t been working, I have been fortunate enough to go to America (South Carolina) where I saw an excellent eye Specialist and also an Opthamologist in Spain, who did very different tests than I had in England and straightaway, on the same day told me I had Stargardts Disease and at this time there is no cure for it. In Spain I was offered ‘visual helpers’ which are not very attractive glasses which magnify everything so you can see it better. Unfortunately, these helpers are only for reading and watching television and as my right eye is worse than my left, they could only make me helpers for one eye only and unfortunately I didn’t find this very helpful, so I decided to wait and see what the Opthamologist says in England before I try to work with the helpers again.
I’d never heard of Stargardts disease before I was told that I suffered from it and was suprised to come across this website with all the other stories on (which i’m working my way through slowly).
I’d like to know what help I can get from groups, websites, charities, the Government etc and wondered if anyone could get in touch and help me find out.
It would also be good to chat with people who understand what I see and how it affects my sight and to see how other people deal with it.
Please contact me:firstname.lastname@example.org.