Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I was spending some vacation time with my family :-)
From what you have posted it sounds like your partners doctors are concerned he might be suffering from a genetic condition called Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON).
While your partner is a little bit old for LHON to affect him, it usually strikes men in their 20's and 30's I have a patient in my practice who did not loose vision until he was 52...so it can strike at any age.
Currently, other the visual aids
such as magnifiers and low vision glasses
, there is no treatment for this disease. The good news is, however, after the acute vision loss the majority of patients do not continue to loose more vision.
Here is a very informative, non-technical, web page that discusses this condition:
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Thanks in advance,