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Retinitis Pigmentosa

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What is Retinitis Pigmentosa?

It is a degenerative and asymptomatic disease which initially affects the cells of the Retina known as “rods”, responsible for peripheral and night vision, and, in its most advanced stage, cells known as “cones”, which manage central vision; this disease may lead to blindness.

As with other pathologies related to the Retina, the damage caused is irreversible. This, in conjunction with a lack of symptomatology in initial stages, makes the disease one of the most prominent causes of blindness.

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From about the age of 40, both the Ciliary Muscle and the crystalline lens lose elasticity which means that visual focusing ability is reduced and “near” vision is fundamentally affected.

This is therefore a normal process associated with the passage of time by which everyone is affected sooner or later.

Retinosis Pigmentaria - Retinitis Pigmentosa

This pathology has a marked genetic nature and is the most frequent cause of retinal heredodegeneration.

That means that any person with a family history of this disease is more predisposed to suffer from it.

Symptoms of Retinitis Pigmentosa

Although it is unlikely that the patient will be aware of this pathology, the first symptoms that may appear concern night vision and specifically relate to a growing difficulty in the visual adaptation to darkness.

Subsequently, the progressive loss of the peripheral field of vision which will result in “tunnel” vision.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Unfortunately, as things presently stand, there is no cure for this pathology, although advances in research in this field have produced a number of drugs which slow down its rate of progression.

Therefore, as for other similar pathologies, it is essential to diagnose it at an early stage in order to apply the treatment as soon as possible.

Frequently asked questions about Retinitis Pigmentosa

Does a treatment exist for Retinitis Pigmentosa?

No. But worldwide research has produced very promising results in the development of treatments for Retinitis Pigmentosa.

Does it only affect vision?

Yes, in most cases.

Does having night blindness mean that a person has Retinitis Pigmentosa?

No. Although Retinitis Pigmentosa is also known as “night blindness”, in some cases having “night blindness” does not mean that you have an eye disease.

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