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Retinitis pigmentosa is part of a group of eye diseases that are passed down in families. All of them affect the ability of the retina to sense light. The problem with the retina can take place in any of the following:
The symptoms of retinitis pigmentosa usually begin in childhood or adolescence. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Some people with the problem have a slow, very progressive loss of eyesight. Others lose their eyesight much more quickly and severely. Common symptoms may include:
The symptoms of the condition may look like other eye diseases. Talk with your eye healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Your eye healthcare provider will take a complete medical history and give you an eye exam. The eye healthcare provider may do one or more of the following tests to make a diagnosis:
Your eye healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment for you based on:
The symptoms of retinitis pigmentosa sometimes look like other conditions or medical problems. Always see your eye healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
At this time, there is no specific treatment for retinitis pigmentosa. However, protecting your eye’s retina by using UV sunglasses may help delay the start of symptoms. A retinal prosthesis (artificial retina) has been developed for individuals with very advanced disease and severe vision loss. Talk with your eye healthcare provider for more information.
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