Retinitis pigmentosa is a degenerative eye disease that will eventually cause blindness. It is genetic, so it is inherited from someone in your family. It can be a recessive trait and may be linked to the X chromosome, so it is something that may not show up frequently in your family because you have to have genes from both parents in order to get RP.
The disease itself causes blindness by breaking down the cells of the retina. The retina is tissue at the back of your eye. It senses light and acts like the film that captures the image that the camera of your eye sees. The image shows up on your retina and it then triggers impulses and nerve cells in your brain so that your brain can process what you are seeing. As cells are lost or breakdown on your retina, the ability to do that is lost.
Signs of RP
Your retina is partly made up of rods and cones. Those rods and cones are what allow your retina to sense light and dark and for you to see colors. Rods allow your eyes to sense light and the RP affects rods more than it does cones. That's what makes one of the first signs of retinitis pigmentosa night blindness. Night blindness refers to a condition that makes it hard to see in the dark or low-light conditions. As RP gets worse, the night blindness will progress. Another sign of RP is the loss of peripheral vision. As the retinitis pigmentosa progresses, the loss of rods will also affect the cones, and the person who has it will eventually end up with tunnel vision, meaning they can only see what is directly in front of them and may have a hard time seeing in anything but bright light. The person may be legally blind but still possess some vision.
Treatments for RP
There is no real treatment for retinitis pigmentosa. It's more about learning how to manage the illness and the effects than it is about stopping or slowing it. There are a number of things that you can do in order to start managing your illness. One is that you can go see an occupational therapist. OT can help you learn how to do things like cooking and cleaning as your vision decreases. You can also work with therapists who can help you with learning how to maneuver in the world as you lose the rest of your vision.
Retinitis pigmentosa is a serious illness. It will eventually cause a sufferer to lose their vision. For more information, contact companies like Country Hills Eye Center.