What is Retinitis Pigmentosa?
Retinitis Pigmentosa is a genetic retinal disorder. In this eye condition the photoreceptors; Rods and Cones present in the Retina (A thin layer of tissue which covers 95% of the interior surface of the eye) progressively breakdown over a period of time, resulting in loss of vision. In most cases it often begins with decreased night vision and loss of peripheral (side) vision. If the cones, especially in the Macula (centre most part of the retina) breakdown, color vision can also get affected in some cases as cones help in detecting color. Although the moderation of RP may differ from person to person. RP can also eventually lead to blindness.
Symptoms of Retinitis Pigmentosa
Symptoms of RP usually start becoming noticeable during the first or second decade. Few symptoms that are often seen are:
- Difficulty in driving, reading, recognizing faces or objects
- Peripheral (side) vision loss
- Central vision loss (Focusing on objects becomes difficult)
- Difficulty in seeing at night (night vision loss or night blindness)
- Sensitivity to sudden flash of light (light-sensitivity also known as ‘photophobia’)
- Problem in Color Identification
As the eye disease is genetic i.e. it is passed on to the children from their parents, it can also develop during childhood or teenage. However, it may vary depending on the genetic factor.
Causes of Retinitis Pigmentosa
Retinitis Pigmentosa is genetically caused (runs in families). It is not an acquired eye disorder i.e. it is not caused by any external damage to the eye. As per recent research, there are three ways as to how the mutation in the genes can damage the retinal cells and cause RP:
- Autosomal Recessive Retinitis Pigmentosa
- Autosomal Dominant Retinitis Pigmentosa
- X-Linked Retinitis Pigmentosa
Autosomal Recessive RP:
Autosomal Recessive RP means that the faulty (the gene is not producing enough protein for the retinal cells to function normally) gene can cause this disorder to the child, if it is transmitted by both parents. There is usually a 50% chance that it will be passed on to the child.
Autosomal Dominant RP:
Autosomal Dominant RP means that the gene that carries this disease is often passed on to the child by only one parent. At times due to mutation (changes in the genes), RP can arise even if the person does not belong to the same family.
X-Linked RP means that the gene in control of RP is found on the X chromosome. Men contain one X chromosome while women contain two X chromosomes. Hence, RP affects men and women in a different manner. In most cases, faulty genes on the X chromosomes can be directly related to RP.
Treatment for Retinitis Pigmentosa
Sanjeevan For Perfect Eyesight, over a period of years has successfully developed a very effective treatment for RP and have prominently treated thousands of patients who have been diagnosed with RP.
Retinitis Pigmentosa treatment in India at Sanjeevan involves stimulating the retinal pigment epithelium by increasing the blood flow of the choroid which helps in release of neurotrophic factors, oxygenation and also improves blood supply to the rod and cone photoreceptor cells in the retina.
In more advanced cases, our treatment focuses on improved peripheral vision, reduced photophobia, and prevents the deterioration of cone photoreceptor cells thereby preventing blindness.
The symptoms of night blindness, photophobia and poorcolorperception are also treated during the course of the treatment. Our treatment helps in stopping further degeneration of the eye and helps in vision improvement permanently.