Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is primarily a genetic disease which generally runs in families. The severity of the disease and the type of retinitis pigmentosa varies in each person and the speed of vision loss and other negative effects caused by the disease depends on the type of retinitis pigmentosa.
It is one of the most common diseases caused by genetic abnormalities. There is no specific cause for RP. The consanguineous marriages of the parents has been reported as a causative factor for many genetic diseases including retinitis pigmentosa. The exact causes of the disease are not fully understood and there can be a large number of possibilities to cause the genetic abnormalities.
Signs and Symptoms of Retinitis Pigmentosa
There is a typical pattern of sign and symptoms and the diagnosis is generally done in the teen age. The progression of the disease and its speed varies in patients depending on the genetic pattern of retinitis pigmentosa. Some of the common signs and symptoms which can be seen in a person suffering from the retinitis pigmentosa are:
- Loss of Night Vision – Loss of night vision which is called night blindness is a medical condition in which a person takes a longer time to adjust to the darkness. People face difficulties in doing daily tasks at night and dawn, they face problems to see things clearly in dark rooms, movie theatres, etc.
- Tunnel Vision – A gradual loss of side vision is known as tunnel vision resulting in difficulties in performing daily tasks such as walking, driving, etc.
- Loss of Color Vision – People face difficulties in identifying different colors around them which makes everyday tasks very difficult in certain jobs.
- Loss of Central Vision – In this condition, people face problem in doing tasks which needs a close encounter with the eyes such as reading, writing, etc. This condition is achieved once the disease affects the cone cells in the central field of vision.
- Photophobia – Contact with bright light can be very irritating to some people with retinitis pigmentosa.
- Blurred Vision
- Photopsia – This is a condition where the patient sees flashes of light.
- Complete blindness may occur if the disease is not checked on time.