Quick facts about Retinitis Pigmentosa
Nearly 1 in 3000 people are born with the condition
The condition can greatly vary between every diagnosis
Often referred to as “tunnel vision”
Understanding Retinitis Pigmentosa
Retinitis Pigmentosa (also known as RP) is an inherited degenerative condition that affects the retina, which is the light sensitive part of the eye. It damages the cells that transmit light to the brain via the optic nerve, meaning people affected lose the ability to transmit what their eye is seeing to their brain.
This form of vision loss is often referred to as “tunnel vision”, as the centre of vision usually remains but it is like looking through a straw. People affected by Retinitis Pigmentosa usually begin to notice their sight deteriorating in their teenage years. While the condition can vary greatly from person to person, it can result in total blindness.
Effects of Retinitis Pigmentosa
Most people with Retinitis Pigmentosa experience the gradual loss of peripheral vision. They may also have difficulty with night vision and in environments with low lighting.
The effects of Retinitis Pigmentosa can include:
- Tripping over or bumping into objects
- Glare and light sensitivity
- Limited view of objects
- Seeing only a portion of your normal vision
- Difficulty noticing objects at ground level or above head height
- Struggling to see in low light conditions
Who is at risk?
Retinitis Pigmentosa is hereditary and typically occurs in people who have a family history of the condition. Relatives of people with Retinitis Pigmentosa should have regular eye examinations as a precaution, however unfortunately there is currently no known cure for the disease.
Guide Dogs Queensland’s services are a vital part of our local eye care network, helping to ensure vision impaired patients receive the best medical care and the latest rehabilitation expertise and technology.