STARGARDT disease: Acupuncture is the only hope for patients who lose their eyesight
Stargardt’s disease is the most frequent form of hereditary retinal dystrophy and macular degeneration of the eye. It is caused by a gene mutation and its clinical symptoms may start before the age of 20.
Symptoms of Stargardt disease
The patient’s symptoms may vary. Hazy and blind spots, blurry vision, loss of depth perception, reduced color perception and difficulty adjusting to low light, are some of the symptoms described by Stargard’s patients.
Initially central vision is affected and peripheral (side) vision can be progressively affected, too. The patient’s loss of visual acuity cannot be treated with common vision glasses. The younger the age of the patient, the more rapid is the evolution of the disease and its prognosis is worse.
The diagnostic tools of the disease of Stargardt
Special imaging methods and techniques are used for diagnosis. The fundus of the eye and the colored photograph of the eye fundus will show some lesions, centrally and in the periphery of the fundus of the eye, where orange-yellow spots appear (which is called fundus flavimaculatus).
Best form of display is the fundus autofluorescence, a specific illustration of the eye’s fundus, which shows the accumulation of lipofuscin in the cells of the dark epithelium. Moreover, this test shows the atrophy of this layer, as dark spots or areas due to the cells’ death caused by the accumulation of lipofuscin.
In addition, electrophysiological examination of vision is particularly useful for investigating the function of the retina in light and darkness. Electroretinogram confirms the diagnosis and repeat testing shows the tendency for future development of Stargardt’s disease.
Therapeutic Approach: No other treatment except Acupuncture Can Help Patients With Stargardt’s Disease
Unfortunately, up to this day, there are no particular therapeutic developments that can give hope to patients.
Stargardt disease has virtually no special treatment. It is recommended to avoid vitamin A and to stop/abstain smoking.
Western medicine’s efforts to cure Stargard’s disease – according to a recent study by the American Academy of Opthalmology – have been unsuccessful so far.
The only way to reverse the progression of this incurable disease is by acupuncture. Acupuncture practiced by qualified doctors and healthcare professionals (acupuncturists) has not only been proved successful in reversing its progression but also in improving the visual acuity by acting primarily in the macula of the eye and to lesser extent in the rest of the retina of the eye.