Retinitis Pigmentosa (PR) Programs
Retinitis pigmentosa refers to a number of inherited eye diseases (including rod-cone dystrophy, usher’s syndrome, leber’s amaurosis and batten’s disease) that causes retinal degeneration leading to a slow progressive vision loss. This condition is due to damage in the rod and cone photoreceptors. Rod photoreceptors are the retinal cells responsible for peripheral vision and night vision and function best in dim light while cone photoreceptors are the retinal cells responsible for color vision and color sensitivity and work best in bright light. With PR the rods photoreceptors usually first disintegrate making the loss of night vision the first symptom. The breakdown in the rod photoreceptors brings about a breakdown in the cone photoreceptors. On rare occasions, the cone photoreceptors are first affected bringing about an interruption in central vision and color perception. With time, damage to the cone cells causes damage to the rod cells leading to tunnel vision and loss of night vision.
PR affects about 1 in 3500 people and as many as 6% of deaf people. The most prevalent theory contributes the development of retinitis pigmentosa to genetics (though it might skip a generation or more before showing up). Symptoms usually appear in childhood with serious vision loss normally occurs in early adulthood progressing throughout one’s life.
Symptoms will include:
- problems distinguishing colors
- problems in reading
- problems in seeing details
- problems in seeing in dim light
- the loss of night vision
- the loss of side vision