RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA


   It is degenerative disease of retina, which causes diminished night vision. Later on, there is reduced side vision but blindness is rare. The disease progresses slowly.

Cause

Cause of the disease is still unknown. It is mainly due to damage of retinal cells. Mostly the disease is hereditary. The most common inheritance is recessive. It means the gene should come from both the parents though they may not be affected. Other form is sex linked in which females are carriers. So genetic counseling is required to prevent the disease in next generation.

Fundus picture of Retinitis Pigmentosa

Diagnosis

Typical retinal pigments as seen by ophthalmoscope are diagnostic of retinitis pigmentosa. Some times night blindness may be present without retinal features. In these cases Electroretinogram and electrooculogram done to assess retinal function may help in diagnosis.

Treatment

No effective treatment is available till date to cure or improve the vision. 

However Vitamin A Palmate 15000IU taken per day is said to slow the progress of disease. However it must be taken   under physician supervision because of its toxicity in long run.

Taking Vitamin E may have adverse effect.

Other treatments underway are genetic, retinal transplantation etc.

Low visual aids.

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