Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of genetic disorders that affect the retina’s ability to respond to light. This inherited disease causes a slow loss of vision, beginning with decreased night vision and loss of peripheral (side) vision. Forms of RP and related diseases include Usher syndrome, Leber’s congenital amaurosis, rod-cone disease, Bardet-Biedl syndrome, and Refsum disease, among others.
HOW IS RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA DIAGNOSED?
Ophthalmologists examine your eye and evaluate your symptoms during diagnosis. Various tests for evaluating the retina are colour test, ophthalmoscopy, intraocular pressure, electroretinogram, pupil reflex response, retinal photography and slit lamp examination
HOW IS RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA TREATED?
Currently there is no known cure for retinitis pigmentosa. Research has shown that vitamin A palmitate may slow the progression of certain forms of RP. Another way to slow the vision loss from RP is to wear sunglasses to protect the retina from harmful ultraviolet (UV) light.As RP is a genetically-based disease, gene therapy has become a widely explored area of research, particularly in identifying ways to insert healthy genes into the retina.
DID YOU KNOW?
Complete blindness to occur in patients with retinitis pigmentosa is extremely rare.