Retinitis pigmentosa refers a group of inherited visual disorders which affect the light sensitive cells in the retina, resulting in a gradual deterioration of vision. This typically affects the peripheral retina early and progresses later to compromise the central vision. Blindness can result. One of the earliest symptoms of retinitis pigmentosa is progressive night blindness. Sudden flashes of light is another symptom.
How is retinitis pigmentosa treated?
Currently effective therapies are limited. But most recently, the first gene therapy for a specific type of inherited retinal disease was approved. This is hopeful news for the future of treatment of many more of these conditions. Research is also ongoing into retina chips to restore function. At this point in time your ophthalmologist may prescribe a variety of medications that have been shown to help stabilize the disease. They include calcium-channel blockers, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors and a number of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin E, lutein-zeaxanthin, and ascorbic acid. Cataract removal may be helpful in selected cases.