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
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
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.