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THE MACULAR
DEGENERATION COMMUNITY

 

Geoff
photo

Name
Geoff Skinner

Born
June 15, 1947

Home
Cairns, Australia

Diagnosis
Hereditary condition called CACD (Central Areolar Choroidal Dystrophy) Rare condition which affects 1:200,000. Local Opthalmologist has never seen this condition before. I was eventually diagnosed by a visiting Retinal Surgeon from Brisbane.

Eyes Affected
Both. Similar progression and vision loss in both eyes..

Eye Color
Blue

Age at Diagnosis
53. Looking back, I had symptoms of vision loss several years ago, such as losing track of the mouse pointer when using a computer.

Visual Acuity
20/30 in very small patch in centre. Sharply defined donut shaped ring of vision loss. One edge of blind area is less than 1 degree from centre in both eyes.

Treatment
No treatment but advised to take antioxidants.

Prognosis or Current State of Vision
Assessed as legally blind in March 2002, due to constricted fields and loss of 80% central vision . Remaining patch of central vision expected to deteriorate. The pattern of vision loss has the bizarre effect of me being able to read a phone book but having great difficulty with lager print, such as newspaper headlines. This is because larger letters will not "fit in" the patch of remaining central vision.

Family History
None that I am aware of.

Impact on My Life
I was self employed and needed to be able to drive. Gave up driving in 2001 and I am now not working at all.

Positive Effects
None that I can think of! It could be a lot worse, at least it is not life threatening!

Adaptations
I can still do most things except drive. Watching TV is difficult as I can see only about 25% if the screen at a time at normal viewing distance. Always wear wrap around UV shields when outdoors as UV levels in Cairns are in the extreme range almost every day of the year. Sunlight gives me headaches and eye pain and can cause new blind spots to appear which may take 30 mins to fade away.

Working
Gave up work recently. Enjoying early retirement!

More About Me
Married with two children in their 20's. No sign of eye problems in children so far. Enjoy hobby of Amateur Radio. Treasurer of local Amateur Radio Club.