What is Juvenile Macular Degeneration?


Normal Vision


Vision with Juvenile Macular Degeneration

Juvenile macular degeneration is not a term in standard usage at this time.  The preferred term for conditions that affect the macula in younger individuals related to genetics is macular dystrophy.  Examples of these include:

  • Best’s disease
  • Doyne’s honeycomb retinal dystrophy
  • Sorsby’s disease
  • Stargardt’s disease

The first genetic link to juvenile macular degeneration was discovered at the Cleveland Clinic.



Macular degeneration, in its advanced forms, can result in legal blindness, resulting in a loss of driving privileges and an inability to read all but very large type.  Perhaps the most grievous loss is the inability to see faces clearly or at all.

Some of these losses can be offset by the use of adaptive devices.  A closed-circuit television reader can make reading possible, and specialized screen-reading computer software, e.g., JAWS for Windows, can give the blind person access to word processing, spreadsheet, financial and e-mail access.