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THE MACULAR
DEGENERATION COMMUNITY

Claudia


 

Name
Claudia Viana

Born
July 17, 1984

Home
Toronto, Ontario

Diagnosis
Stargardt's

Eyes Affected
Both (right eye is the worst)

Eye Color
Brown, at times hazel

Age at Diagnosis
8

Treatment
None, desperately looking

Prognosis or Current State of Vision
None

Family History
None that my family is aware of.

Positive Effects
Thank God I am not blind.

Impact on My Life

My life has had a negative impact due to Stargardt's disease. At the age of my diagnosis (8) my teacher realized that I was squinting my eyes to see the black board and my text books. She spoke with my parents and an appointment was made for me to see my optometrist. He prescribed me some glasses and in a matter of a week I was wearing them. I will never forget the ride home in my parents car from the optometrist when I received my glasses. I glanced at the store signs, still unable to read them, I explained to my parents that the glasses were not making a difference. I recall my mom telling me that they would get some getting used to before I was able to see clearly. One year later I was already fed up of going from one doctor to another, tired of doing those unconfortable eye tests, staring at a bright light in a dark room for 2 hours, rearranging sticks by colours, putting in those eye drops that made my vision absolutely blurry. I was even unable to see what I was eating for dinner that night!

I was finally diagnosed with Stargardt's and was referred to Dr. Peter Shaw, a low vision specialist in the Scarborough area. I have been going to see him once every year. My weaker eye (right eye) became extremely lazy, due to the fact that it was hardly ever used, or simply because I relied more on my peripherall vision over my central.....as a result i was teased, i was called cross eyed, cock eyed, and constantly asked (who the hell are you looking at?). I became depressed, anti-social. i was afraid everyone was talking behind my back. I withdrew myself from others, I did not want to enter into conversations with anyone, afraid that they would comment on my crossed eyes. Until this day I avoid looking at people's faces or eyes. I can't go on living this way. I even strain my eyes trying to look at people directly, but when I do this I can't see them at all. Normal daily tasks are my everyday challenges. I have been told that there is not a cure for this disease. Hhowever, I am crossing my fingers. It makes me so sad to know that my boyfriend is a mechanic, and he will never be able to fix my car. My eyes are tearing up. I'm emotionally tired of Stargardt's.

Adaptations

I have a CCTV at home, zoom text for my computer, a compact CCTV, magnifying glasses, eye glasses with magnifying objects in the centre of each lens.

Working

Student studying to be a child and youth counselor