Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the name offered to a group of genetic eye diseases that impact the retina. Retinitis pigmentosa causes the degeneration of photoreceptor cells in the retina. These are cells that record and process light that assists us to see. As these cells degenerate and pass away, patients experience progressive vision loss.
What are the symptoms of retinitis pigmentosa?
- Loss of or diminished night vision (the earliest & most regular symptom).
- Normal visual acuity in early stages.
- Donut shaped visual field loss advancing to severe constriction (loss of peripheral vision).
- Night blindness.
- Decreased response to magnification.
- Required for more light.
How can retinitis pigmentosa be prevented? Decreasing your direct exposure to sunshine is very important for keeping the eye protected. Nevertheless, because RP is an inherited disorder that runs in family, the disease is not avoidable. If somebody in your family is identified with retinal degeneration, it is highly encouraged that all family members contact an eye care specialist.
How is retinitis pigmentosa handed down?
Many people with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa have an afflicted parent and other family members with the disorder. Retinitis pigmentosa can also have an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance, which suggests both copies of a gene in each cell have anomalies.
How do you test for retinitis pigmentosa?
The ERG, in combination with the visual field exam, will generally make the medical diagnosis. The ERG will likewise identify if there is any involvement of the main retina and visual field. Periodic follow-up ERG assessments are essential to follow and track the progression of your retinitis pigmentosa.