Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited eye disease in which there is a breakdown of the nerve layer (retina) in the back of the eye. It can lead to blindness.
Often the first sign of the disorder is an inability to see in low light and darkness (night blindness). Those affected usually develop a ring-shaped blind spot surrounding the center of their visual field. This blind spot then expands to affect both central and peripheral (side) vision. Eventually all vision may be lost.
Treatment for retinitis pigmentosa depends on which gene is defective. There isn't a cure. But there is evidence that some forms can be treated with gene therapy. Your doctor can treat your symptoms, such as swelling, with medicines or eye drops.
Retinitis pigmentosa is often linked with nearsightedness, certain types of cataracts, and problems with the macula, the portion of the retina that provides sharp central vision.
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