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What is Retinitis Pigmentosa?

Retinitis Pigmentosa is a group of rare genetic disorders that lead to permanent loss of sensory cells in the retina and results in a slow, progressive loss of vision. It usually starts as the loss of night vision or peripheral vision and eventually leads to complete blindness. This disorder typically starts in childhood. People with retinitis pigmentosa tend to be sensitive to light and have trouble seeing in the dark.  

Symptoms of Retinitis Pigmentosa

  • Decreased night vision
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Vision loss
  • Blindness

Who is at Risk for Retinitis Pigmentosa?

Retinitis Pigmentosa is an inherited disorder.  In many cases there are other members of the family with a history of vision loss due to retinitis pigmentosa. Proper genetic testing and counseling is required to further identify the specific gene involved and other family members at risk of disorder.

How to Evaluate and Treat Retinitis Pigmentosa?

Important evaluation steps in retinitis pigmentosa includes proper documentation of central vision and peripheral visual field deficit. An electroretinogram that measures the electrical activity of the photoreceptor cells in the retina is sometimes used to characterize the subtype of the disorder.

Currently, except for 1-2 specific subtypes of retinal dystrophic disorders, there is no cure for retinitis pigmentosa. Regular office evaluations are required to treat complications associated with retinitis pigmentosa including retinal inflammation, cataracts, etc. In many cases, the patient is referred to a low vision specialist to help with best use of available vision for daily activities.

Schedule a Consultation

If you have started to notice a decline in your vision, then come to Boston Vision for an eye exam. We can help to diagnose your vision loss and find a remedial option for you. To schedule your appointment, book online with us or email us at help@bostonvision.com to get started.

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