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Shellie from Lake Stevens, Washington

Shellie’s Story – Received 3 January, 2009

My name is Shellie and I live in Lake Stevens, Washington. When I was 33 years old my eye doctor during a routine exam informed me that he thought I had macular degeneration which was surprising to him because of my age. He had been seeing me for a few years prior to this and didn’t notice the drusen in my eyes until this visit with him. I opted for a second opinion. So, after going to an opthalmologist in Kirkland Washington and having flourisine angiograms reviewed by the doctor and a retinal specialist, they came up with a different diagnosis, which was Stargardts Disease.

It has been 11 years since my diagnosis and each year it appears to still be stable and I get correction to about 20/23 20/30 with contacts but, I often wonder when this disease will manifest itself and beging to decline my vision. The only thing I have really noticed so far is difficulty when I go from a light room into a dark room and the time it takes to adjust to the difference and sometimes I make mistakes when reading words and I have to look again and then notice that I really saw the word wrong. It even surprises me at times because, I feel stupid that I actually thought I was reading someting else.

I would like to hear from anyone out there with this disease to get some ideas of how long after diagnosis the symptoms occured and anything else anyone can tell me. I often feel like I have a ticking time bomb in my eyes because no one can tell me when my vision will start to go and so, it leaves me with a lot of questions that I hope someone out there who lives with this disease may be able to answer.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from you at: