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Cone dystrophy is a rare genetic disorder that affects the cone cells in the retina. These cells are responsible for colour vision and visual acuity. Progressive vision loss, abnormal colour vision, and sensitivity to light characterise this condition.

A person can inherit cone dystrophy in an autosomal dominant or recessive pattern, meaning that it can be passed down from one or both parents.


Symptoms of cone dystrophy usually begin in childhood or adolescence and get worse as time goes by. The first sign of the condition is often difficulty distinguishing colours, followed by a loss of visual acuity and sensitivity to light. Sometimes, people with cone dystrophy may also experience nystagmus, which is an involuntary movement of the eyes.


There is currently no cure for cone dystrophy, but there are treatments available that can help manage the symptoms. These include

  • wearing tinted glasses or contact lenses to reduce sensitivity to light,
  • using low-vision aids such as magnifying glasses or telescopes, and
  • undergoing vision rehabilitation to learn new skills and techniques for living with vision loss.

Research is ongoing to develop new treatments for cone dystrophy, including gene therapy and stem cell therapy. Gene therapy involves replacing or repairing the defective genes that cause the condition, while stem cell therapy involves using stem cells to replace damaged or dead cells in the retina.

If someone is diagnosed with cone dystrophy, it’s important to work closely with an eye doctor who specialises in inherited retinal diseases. They can help monitor the progression of the condition and recommend treatments to manage the symptoms. Contact us for more information if you notice symptoms as stated above.