What is Retinitis Pigmentosa?
Retinitis Pigmentosa is the name given to a hereditary disease of the retina in the eye. The retina is at the back of the
eye and it acts like the film in a camera, receiving and processing everything you see. The retina is a delicate layer of
cells which picks up the pictures and transmits them to the brain.
What causes Retinitis Pigmentosa?
Retinitis Pigmentosa could be caused by a breakdown
in the function of the rods or the cones in some part of the retina. The retina is so large and complex that breakdowns may
occur in a variety of ways. Retinitis Pigmentosa is not a single disorder but a large number of disorders. The breakdown of
cone function is also sometimes called Macular Degeneration.
What are the symptoms of Retinitis Pigmentosa?
Different types of Retinitis Pigmentosa have different signs and symptoms. One early sign of Retinitis Pigmentosa is difficulty
seeing at night or in dark rooms. Retinitis Pigmentosa also starts by causing tunnel vision. Other symptoms includes low
light to dark adaptation times and poor contrast sensitivity.
Does Retinal Degeneration lead to blindness?
Some people with retinitis pigmentosa may become blind. However, most retain some small amount of vision and they are termed
"blind" for legal purposes.
How quickly does sight diminish?
Each person has a different rate of sight loss. If the retinitis pigmentosa runs in the family, the pattern could be the same
within that family. Usually the loss is gradual so you are able to adjust.