What is it?

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of rare, genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and loss of cells in the retina — which is the light sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. Common symptoms include difficulty seeing at night and a loss of side (peripheral) vision.

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Signs & symptoms

Signs and symptoms of Retinitis Pigmentosa may include:
- Night blindness
- Tunnel vision (due to loss of peripheral vision)
- Latticework vision (due to loss of peripheral vision)
- loss of depth perception
- Photopsia (blinking/swirling/shimmering lights)
- Photophobia (aversion to bright lights)
- Development of bone spicules in the fundus
- Slow adjustment from dark to light environments and vice versa
- Blurring of vision
- Poor color separation
- Loss of central vision
- Eventual blindness


Diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa relies on the documentation of the progressive loss photoreceptor cell function, confirmed by a combination of visual field and visual acuity tests, fundus and optical coherence imagery, and electroretinography (ERG).


There’s no cure for retinitis pigmentosa. A few options can slow vision loss and may even restore some sight:
- Acetazolamide: In the later stages, the tiny area at the center of the retina can swell. This is called macular edema, and it, too, can reduce vision. This medication can ease swelling and improve the vision.
- Vitamin A palmitate: High doses of this compound may slow retinitis pigmentosa a little each year.
- Sunglasses: These make the eyes less sensitive to light and protect eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays that may speed vision loss.
- Retinal implant: In Late-stage RP, retinal implant can provide partial sight.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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