• Stargardt Disease Symptoms

    Written By: Kierstan Boyd
    Reviewed By: Raj K Maturi MD
    Mar. 01, 2017

    Stargardt disease usually develops in children and teenagers. Someone may first notice a problem with their central vision. It can be blurry, distorted or have dark areas. Side (peripheral) vision is usually not affected. Some people may have trouble seeing colors.

    It may take longer than usual for vision to adjust when going between bright and dark areas.

    For some people, Stargardt disease progresses slowly, then speeds up and levels off. At about 20/40 vision (meaning someone sees at 20 feet what a normal-seeing person sees at 40 feet), vision loss can speed up. Vision may rapidly get worse until it reaches about 20/200. After this point, vision generally stays about the same.

    While central vision will be lost, many people with Stargardt disease may keep good side vision for the rest of their lives.

    Who is at risk for Stargardt disease?

    Usually Stargardt disease is passed down from parents. To have symptoms, you must inherit the gene (called the ABCA4 gene) from both parents. Someone who inherits the gene from only one parent will be a carrier for Stargardt disease, but will not have symptoms.