Bullseye maculopathy is a particular pattern of damage that affects the macula, a critical region responsible for sharp and precise vision in the eye. It can arise from several underlying conditions, including age-related macular degeneration, cone dystrophy, Stargardt disease, or drug toxicity, particularly from drugs such as hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) or chloroquine.
Differentiating between the possible causes of bullseye maculopathy requires a comprehensive examination by an ophthalmologist. During the exam, the doctor will perform a dilated eye examination and use various imaging techniques, such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) and electroretinography (ERG), to gather detailed information on the condition of the macula. Genetic testing may also be required to confirm a diagnosis.
Age-related macular degeneration is a common cause of vision loss in the elderly and can also produce the same characteristic maculopathy pattern as other conditions. Cone dystrophy and Stargardt disease are both genetic disorders that can lead to the development of bullseye maculopathy.
In patients taking medications known to have ocular side effects, such as hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, regular eye examinations are necessary to monitor for any signs of drug-induced maculopathy. Timely detection of drug-induced maculopathy and cessation of the offending medication can help prevent further vision loss.
In summary, identifying the underlying cause of bullseye maculopathy is essential for appropriate treatment and to prevent the potential for further vision loss. A comprehensive eye examination by an experienced ophthalmologist is critical to determine the correct diagnosis and guide further management.