What is X-Linked Retinoschisis?
X-linked retinoschisis is a fairly rare genetic eye disorder affecting the vision of men. It is inherited from their mother who has normal eyesight but carriers the condition in their genetic profile. It is estimated that this condition affects one male in every 25,000.The condition is degenerative and affects the nerve tissue in the macular (the central fixation point of vision at the back of the eye).If the condition is identified in childhood, as is often the case, it is know as Juvenile X-Linked Retinoschisis.
What are the symptoms
There are two main symptoms: -
· Decreased central vision (used for fine detail and colour perception)
· Loss of peripheral vision (around the edges of the visual field)
Visual acuity deteriorates in almost all cases as a result of small cysts forming in the retina. This can be in a “spoke-wheel” type pattern and often is only detectable by a trained ophthalmologist.“Schisis” or splitting of retinal layers from one another can result in peripheral loss of vision and affects about half of people with the condition. A higher risk of complete retina detachment occurring is also a consideration.
What is the prognosis?
Very few affected individuals go completely blind from retinoschisis. However, some men with retinoschisis have very limited reading vision and are “legally blind” because their visual acuity is less than 6/60 (10% of normal vision).The rate and extent to which sight deteriorates varies greatly from person to person.
Can it be treated?
Currently, there are no medical or surgical treatments available for retinoschisis.Glasses may help some people but they will not correct the problem itself as this relates to nerve damage. Other people affected may use strong magnifiers and computer technology to assist them in their everyday lives.