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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2286
Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
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My son who is 17 years old has been referred to an eye

Resolved Question:

My son who is 17 years old has been referred to an eye specialist as he has an abnormal macular on examination. I know the anatomy of the eye but wondering what an abnormal one could be referring to. Could this be the start of macular degeneration?Thank you
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. James replied 7 years ago.

Is he having any problems with his vision?
Any family history of any eye problems?
Did the optometrist show you a picture (if one was taken)?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
he is short-sighted and has istigmatism. This was diagnosed when he was 5 or 6 years of age. He wore glasses at first but as he got older he did not wear his glasses. He has not been wearing them since his last optometrist appointment. He said that they did not help him see much better so refused to wear them. We thought that it was because he thought it was not cool to wear them. The last time he went to the optomitrist was in 2004.
2) Yes there is a family history of eye problems. I his mother is shorted sighted and his two younger brothers 7 and 4 have problems with istigmatism.
3) No she has not shown photos all she did is shine a light into his eye to check retina and said the macula looks abnormal and would need to refer him to a specialist as glasses would not help him.
Expert:  Dr. James replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for the reply.

It is uncommon for teenagers to have problems with the macular. If problems are seen, it is usually associated with genetic defects which causes abnormal functioning of the macula. Macular degeneration is usually found in older patients. This is unlikely the case in your son since he is only 17 years old.

There are many dystrophies which can affect the macula. Their appearance is be varied, so a specialist exam would be helpful to differentiate the different diseases. Without any pictures or further description of the macular problem, it would be difficult to narrow it down further. Here is a link to some macular dystrophies seen in young people. This is a good start which will give you some idea of what the macular problem may be.

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