What is Retinitis Pigmentosa?

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a genetic eye condition that causes the light-sensitive retina, located at the back of the eye, to degenerate slowly and progressively.

The condition can vary greatly. While many people with RP retain limited vision throughout their lives, others will lose their sight completely.

What are the symptoms?

Generally, symptoms develop between the ages of 10 and 30. Some of the first signs may include the following:

  • Difficulty seeing at night (night-blindness) or in dimly lit areas
  • A narrowing field of vision
  • Light and glare sensitivity

Who is at risk?

RP is a hereditary disease that occurs in people that have a family history of the condition. It often affects males more than females.

Can it be treated?

There is currently no standard treatment or therapy for RP. However, scientists have isolated several genes responsible for the disease. Once RP is discovered, patients and their families are encouraged to seek genetic counselling.

Related pages:
Anatomy of the Eye

Return to Retinal Diseases Index