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RP is an inherited disorder that results from harmful changes in any one of more than 50 genes. These genes carry the instructions for making proteins that are needed in cells within the retina, called photoreceptors. Some of the changes, or mutations, within genes are so severe that the gene cannot make the required protein, limiting the cellís function. Other mutations produce a protein that is toxic to the cell. Still other mutations lead to an abnormal protein that doesnít function properly. In all three cases, the result is damage to the photoreceptors.A number of services and devices are available to help people with vision loss carry out daily activities and maintain their independence. In addition to an eye care professional, itís important to have help from a team of experts, which may include occupational therapists, orientation and mobility specialists, certified low vision therapists, and others. NEI has more information on living with low vision.
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