Retinitis Pigmentosa: The Signs, Symptoms, and Solutions

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) describes a group of inherited diseases that cause retinal degeneration.  Forms of retinitis pigmentosa and related diseases include Refsum disease, Bardet-Biedl syndrome, rod-cone disease, Leber’s congenital amaurosis, and Usher syndrome.  It is estimated that more than 100,000 people in the United States have a form of these diseases; the main cause being gene mutations inherited from one or both parents.

The retina is composed of millions of light capturing cells known as photoreceptors.  These specialized cells are responsible for capturing images from the visual field.  Patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa experience a progressive decline in their vision from the deterioration of these photoreceptors.

In most forms of the disease adolescents and young adults experience a decline in their peripheral and night vision.  Progressively experiencing a decline in their color perception and central vision.  Although the rate, and degree, of vision loss varies from person to person, most patients are legally blind as early as 40 years old.  Amidst the vigorous research being carried out to slow and eventually stop retinitis pigmentosa, there is unfortunately no available treatment at this time.

At Ocular Prosthetics, Inc. our prosthetic eye providers are experienced in the fabrication and fitting of cosmetic cover shells and cosmetic contact lenses for low vision and blind eye patients.  To make an appointment with a board certified ocularist, please contact us today by filling out the Request an Appointment form, found at the top of this page.  During your initial consultation your ocularist will suggest which cosmetic solution best suits your individual needs.  We look forward to helping you restore your image.