When you have been having trouble with your night vision and go to an ophthalmologist to get checked out, the last thing you may expect is to eventually come away with a diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa. However, once you know what is causing your vision loss, the next step is to get more information about the disorder and what you can do to deal with and potentially treat it. Retinitis pigmentosa is a difficult diagnosis to receive but can be made easier with information and understanding.
What Is Retinitis Pigmentosa?
Retinitis pigmentosa is a degenerative disorder of the eyes that is genetically inherited. This disorder directly affects the retina which is the portion of the eye that is responsible for vision and the capturing of images that are filtered through the lens of the eye.
As such, when a person's retina is affected by retinitis pigmentosa, they experience progressive vision loss. Generally speaking, most cases of retinitis pigmentosa initially affect a person's ability to see at night and their peripheral vision first. However, eventually retinitis pigmentosa does lead to total blindness.
How Can You Cope With Night and Peripheral Vision Loss?
Retinitis pigmentosa is a disorder that progresses slowly. Therefore, when you are diagnosed, you may experience a lack of night and peripheral vision for an extended period of time. Coping with these issues can be difficult but not impossible.
To keep your vision loss from progressing faster, you should wear sunglasses when out in the sun. This can prevent further eye damage. Additionally, your optometrist or ophthalmologist can help you get an eyeglass prescription that can enhance your current visual capabilities.
There are even eyeglasses that you can get that are known as field enhancement eyewear. These prescription eyeglasses are designed as a low vision treatment and can help counteract some of your peripheral vision loss, expanding how much of the world around you you can see.
Can Retinitis Pigmentosa Be Treated?
There is no current cure for retinitis pigmentosa. However, eye doctors and researchers have low vision treatments that can be used to help people with the genetic disorder to see better for as long as possible.
Sometimes, people who are diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa may be told to go on a high dose of vitamin A, which may help to slow vision loss in some patients. Taking a fish oil supplement or increasing a person's daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids can also help with overall eye health and support, possibly slowing the progress of the disease.
Research is also currently underway to come up with more permanent solutions to retinitis pigmentosa. For example, scientists are currently working with monkeys to use new retinal tissues that were grown using stem cells to try to cure blindness. These new retinal cells are transplanted into the eye. Eventually, scientists hope to use similar treatments to cure retinitis pigmentosa in people as well.
Now that you know more about retinitis pigmentosa and what you can expect, you can talk to your ophthalmologist or the Nevada Institute Of Ophthalmology about low vision treatment options and keep informed of the progress of future treatments for yourself as well as for anyone else in your family who may also have this genetic disorder.Share
3 January 2016
My name is Natalie Hunter. I am 29 and an elementary teacher. I created this website because I recently discovered something and wanted to share it with others. I had been suffering headaches for the past year that seemed to be gradually growing in severity. I had tried over-the-counter medications, homeopathic remedies and even made appointments with my doctor. I was given a CT scan and tried prescription medications. Finally, the doctor asked if I have had my eyes checked, as eye strain and eye issues can also cause headaches. I made an appointment with an optometrist, received a prescription for eyeglasses and suddenly, my headaches went away. It seems easy, but I had no idea. If you have headaches, I hope my website helps you understand what to expect when visiting an optometrist and how it can help with your headaches.