Understanding your condition
Inherited retinal diseases (IRDs) are genetic conditions that are caused by a variation in one or more genes. These variations result in the retina not functioning as it should, resulting in loss of vision over time. Some people may experience low vision from childhood or from their teenage years. Others may be diagnosed later in life with little indication they had an inherited retinal disease (IRD) previously.
IRDs are the leading cause of blindness in working age adults and although they are genetic conditions, you may be the only person in your family with the condition depending on the inheritance pattern. There are around 300 different genes that have been identified to cause IRDs and the symptoms can present very differently in each person.
Finding the right ophthalmologist
It’s important to have regular check-ups with an ophthalmologist so that your progression can be monitored and also to ensure good eye health.
As there will be recurring appointments with your ophthalmologist, it’s important that you find one you feel provides adequate information and one you can have open communication with. Open communication between patient and clinician is vital to ensure the best experience for both parties.
Making a choice of ophthalmologist is very much a personal process but there are some things to keep in mind to help you in the decision-making process.