Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is an inherited eye disorder that affects the retina – the back of our eyes responsible for capturing light and sending visual signals to the brain. The condition, which is inherited through genetic mutations, can lead to gradual loss of vision as the photoreceptor cells within the retina deteriorate over time. While some individuals may experience slow vision loss over decades, others might face more rapid deterioration.
One of the most distinctive symptoms of RP is night blindness, where individuals struggle to see in low-light conditions or darkness. As RP progresses, it often causes tunnel vision, a narrowing of the visual field, and can even impact color perception.
No cure currently exists for RP, but researchers are actively exploring possibilities. Gene therapy aims to introduce normal genes into the retina to replace the mutated ones. Another avenue of research is retinal implants, which seeks to restore vision by using electronic devices to stimulate the remaining normal cells.
Individuals with RP should work closely with eye care professionals to manage their condition. Regular eye exams help track disease progression and determine the best strategies for preserving vision. Additionally, patients can explore low-vision aids and technologies that improve daily life.