Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good
we often might win, by fearing to attempt.

- Jane Adams



 Bioptic Driver: Slowly Progressive Conditions

A patient who has a slowly progressive condition can do quite well as long as they understand that driving may be for a limited number of years. For example, a patients with mild Stargardt’s disease at age eighteen may have 20/100 acuity and can be licensed for many years. But, these patients may reach a point many years later where the visual acuity may drop below 20/200 requiring the bioptic driving to be discontinued. How fast this happens can vary and depends on the condition. We have some juvenile retinal dystrophy patients still driving 23 years after initial bioptic fitting.

These individuals may be very successful, but it is important to explain to them in advance that bioptic driving in thier case may be a limited window of time. In some cases of mild Stargardt’s disease, it is important for the individual to have the opportunity to drive when they are young in their 20s and 30s because as their condition progresses years later, driving may not be an option for them. This period of independence has great value to our patients.