New Macula Eye Disease Discovered

Scientists at the University of Iowa have discovered a new macula eye disease.  This new eye disease is an inherited eye disease that affects the macula, a part of the retina.

Reporting their findings in the November 9 edition of the Archives of Ophthalmology, researchers are hoping that the discovery of this new inherited eye disease can provide a deeper understanding of other common retinal diseases.

Dr. Vinit Mahajan, the lead author said “It is rare to find a new inherited eye disease that affects the macula.  We thought we had seen them all.”

The newly found retinal eye disease causes abnormal blood vessels to form in the macula.  These abnormal blood vessels are prone to bleeding and this will cause both swelling and scars that affect vision.  These are symptoms that are generally associated with wet macular degeneration.

The researchers discovered their findings when one person in a family sought care for eye problems.  “If a doctor saw just one family member, they would probably call this macular degeneration. We knew there was something different, and we had to examine the rest of the family,” Mahajan said.

After examining 20 extended family members with visual problems of different severities.  Some family members had lost central vision and some had strabismus, a disorder in which the eyes are not aligned.

It is hoped that the discovery of this new macula eye disease will lead to a greater understanding of other eye diseases.