• Can my 13-year-old with LCHAD take a visual field test?


    Question:

    I have a very healthy 13-year-old that has LCHAD (when the body cannot break down fat for energy). He has yearly heart and eye appointments and has a milder form of this genetic disorder. At this time, all eye exams have been perfect. Our eye doctor suggested a visual field test just to make sure things look okay. Is this an exam with accurate results for someone that age? I am really torn of what to do.


    Answer:

    LCHAD tends to be progressive and appears to be mild in younger persons when it is first detected. They should be on low fat, high carbohydrate diets. Unfortunately LCHAD also affects the retina (light sensitive tissue in the back of the eye) and progression is common despite excellent management otherwise. The damage to these structures causes gradual dropout of retinal light receptor cells with reduction of vision. Nearsightedness and cataracts (cloudy lenses) are also associated over time. A visual field test will map out whether the retina in your 13-year-old has had any visual changes. Retinal examinations will show pigmentary changes before the vision is altered. A 13-year-old should easily be able to perform a visual field examination, especially in this age of electronic gadgetry. You can expect very accurate results from your child.


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