TOP 5 QUESTIONS ABOUT ADOA
WHEN DO YOU TYPICALLY SEE SIGNS OF ADOA?
Autosomal Dominant Optic Atrophy is usually diagnosed between the ages of 4-6 but signs have been reported as early as 1 year of age. For some, it has been reported as late as 14-15 years of age. It is primarily a pediatric disease and those affected will typically show signs of nerve deterioration slowing by the age of 15.
CAN YOU COMPLETELY LOSE ALL VISION?
It is not likely to lose all vision from ADOA. However, vision can be severely impacted, causing children to become legally blind and there have been cases where people affected have gone completely blind. It is one's central vision that is more heavily impacted, sparing some of the peripheral vision.
CAN GLASSES OR CONTACTS HELP IMPROVE THE VISION THAT'S BEEN LOST?
While glasses or contacts lenses may correct coexisting farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism, they will not repair or correct the vision loss caused by ADOA. ADOA deteriorates the optic nerve, which transmits the signal from the eye to the brain. Once that nerve is damaged, the signal to the brain, and therefore vision, will be disrupted. However, people with ADOA may find improvement in visual functioning with magnifiers, telescopes, tinted lenses, electronic magnifiers, or other adaptive devices. These types of visual devices are available from a low vision rehabilitation optometrist.
IS THERE A TREATMENT OR CURE?
There currently is no treatment or cure ADOA. The supplement, Idebenone, according to one study, showed some improvement in visual acuity in patients with ADOA.
DOES ADOA HAVE OTHER AFFECTS ON THE BODY OTHER THAN VISION LOSS?
Other affects on the body depends on the mutation of the gene. Some show only vision loss while others who have Dominant Optic Atrophy-Plus Syndrome experience nerve deterioration in other nervous systems throughout the body.