My name is Karen. I am 25 years old. When I was 9 years old, I was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease which causes Macular Degeneration. I was diagnosed at the National Eye Institute in Maryland. I was told that there is no cure for this condition. As I got older, I lost more and more of my central vision. I saw only one big grayish/white spot in the center o my vision and parts of my peripheral vision became fuzzy. I became legally blind. I was left with about 20% of my vision. I recently returned to NEI (in August 2012) and was told that there was still no cure for this condition.
On Saturday November 24, I had my first session with Dr. Young. He had me complete a test that determined how much of my macular vision field I could see. I was able to see about 10% of the total macular vision field test paper( Amsler Grid Eye Test).
After my first session, I noticed that the blind spot reduced a little in size on the left side of my vision. I also felt that the light in the room was brighter and I felt very relaxed and comfortable.
After my second session on Sunday November 25, I felt that my blind spot in the center had reduced a little more on both sides and that I could see more of the outline of a person’s face.
After my third session on Monday November 26, I noticed that my peripheral vision was stronger, and that I had less blurriness in those areas. I also noticed that the central blind spot lessened a little more on both sides and on the bottom. I was able to see some acne spots on my face that I had not noticed before. I also felt that the blind spot in the center looked like there were many spots moving around, when before it looked like one solid whitish/grayish spot.
After my fourth session on Tuesday November 27, I noticed that I could see a little more of the outline of a person’s face, although it was still not very clear. My peripheral vision felt stronger and less blurry.
After my fifth session on Wednesday November 28, my peripheral vision felt a little stronger. I noticed that the bottom part of my bottom vision became a little bit stronger. I also noticed that I began to see fuzzy parts of the pen that the doctor uses for the daily vision test on both sides of my peripheral vision.
After my sixth session on Thursday November 29, I could see more fuzzy parts of the pen that the doctor uses for the daily vision test on both sides of my peripheral vision. I also noticed a small change in the top part of my vision; I saw very small and fuzzy parts of the pen. I don’t yet see any difference in the center of my vision.
Before my treatment on Friday November 30, I could see some movement in the center of my vision. I could not see very much in the top portion of my eyesight. After the treatment, I saw more movement in the center of my vision as well as some movement in the top portion of my eyesight. I noticed that both sides of my vision became a little bit stronger. The pen that the doctor uses during his vision test was a little bit more visible towards the center of my visual field but it was very blurry.
After my treatment on Saturday December 1, I noticed a lot of fast movement in the center part of my vision. I was also surprised to see that I could begin to notice some black marks at the top of the page that the doctor uses-these blacks marks were blurry parts of the words at the top of the page, and I could not see anything there before. During the test with the pen, I could see some of the pen with the top portion of my eyesight, although it was very blurry. The pen is also becoming visible and clearer closer to the center of my vision.
After my treatment on Sunday December 2, I could see more visible blurry black marks at the top of the page. Before this treatment, it was difficult to see any sort of sign or words from a distance. After, I noticed that signs of stores were a little easier to read. I was able to read the name of a store in the mall from as far away as I could get. I also noticed that I was able to see objects on a table in front me quicker than before.
After my tenth treatment on Monday December 3, I notice that the bottom of my vision was much stronger and that I could see more fuzzy spots at the top of my vision. I feel that my vision has improved about 5% since the beginning of my treatments. I can see a little bit more of a person’s face when they are close to me. I do not yet see a difference with my distance vision. I have noticed that if I look at a table with items on it, I can locate an item quicker than I used to, which means I can see more of the table at one time.
After my treatment on Tuesday December 4, I had more improvement with my upper vision. I saw a little bit more of the top of the page and some more fuzzy black spots for where the letters are on the top of the page. I also saw blurry parts of the pen slightly closer to my central vision. I am now able to see about 50% of the macular vision field test paper( Amsler Grid Eye Test).
Saturday December 8, 2012
On Wednesday December 5, I began a second set of 10 sessions with Dr. Yi. Over the past 3 days, there have been some more small improvements with both sides of my peripheral vision, and I am able to see more blurry black spots at the top of the page. My top vision is becoming stronger along with my side vision. I am not yet able to see with the center of my vision and I have not noticed significant changes with my distance vision.
One change I noticed after today’s session was that I saw a black smudge in the center of my vision with my right eye. Before, I only saw white. Today, there was a large black smudge and I am beginning to see some color with the center vision in that eye.
Another thing I have noticed is that I am able to sleep much better than I used to since I began my treatments with Dr. Yi.
Sunday December 9
After this treatment, I noticed that the left side of my vision and the top side of my vision came in closer to the center on the paper test that the doctor performs.
Monday December 10
Today during work, I noticed some small changes. The major one being that I was able to see a teacher nod “yes” from a distance. I had not been able to see this gesture from a distance before. After the treatment, I saw more of the top of the page tha the doctor uses.
Tuesday December 11
After tonight’s treatment, I did not notice any significant changes. On the paper test, both sides of my vision and the top side seem to be coming closer to the center.
Wednesday December 12
After tonight’s treatment, I realized that I continue to see a black blob in the center of my right eye’s vision when I look at the page that the doctor uses. Also, the sides and the top vision came slightly closer to the center.
Thursday December 13
Today I was able to quickly spot a piece of banana that had gotten stuck to the back of one of my student’s pants. I was surprised at how quickly I saw it and was able to remove it. After my treatment, I saw that the left side of my vision is getting much stronger and my vision on that side is moving towards the center quicker than the other sides.
Friday December 14
Today I did not see any significant changes. The paper test shwoed all four sides of my vision moved slightly closer to the center. I still cannot see anything with the center of my vision, except for the black/gray blob I see with my right eye when I look at the paper.
Saturday December 15
Today I noticed that the font size I can read on the computer is slightly smaller than what I could normally read. I still read very slowly due to the blind spot in the center of my vision. After the treatment, I continued to see more improvement with the left side of my vision, as well as at the top of the page.
Sunday December 16, 2012
After today’s treatment, I saw the black blob in the center of the page with my right eye again. Also, I saw flashes of a red/orange color as I was concentrating on seeing the pen that the doctor uses. I noticed that the left side of my vision seemed a little clearer than the right side.
Monday December 17
Today after my session, the left side of my vision moved very close to the dot on the center of the grid on the page the doctor uses. The top, bottom and right sides of my vision also came a little bit closer to the center. I continue to see the black/gray blob in the center of my vision with my right eye.
Tuesday December 18, 2012
Today I felt like my vision was a little uneven; it felt as though the left side of my vision was slightly stronger than the right side. After the session, I noticed that during the pen and paper test, I noticed that the doctor was moving the pen up and down. He told me he has done this during every test, but I did not notice it until today. All sides of my vision came closer to the center dot.