Retinitis Pigmentosa


Retinitis pigmentosa is a group of eye problems that affect the retina. This condition changes how the retina responds to light, making it hard to see. People with retinitis pigmentosa lose their vision slowly over time. Usually, though, they will not become totally blind.

What causes retinitis pigmentosa?

Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic condition, meaning it can be passed down in families. The type and speed of vision loss from retinitis pigmentosa varies from person to person. It depends on their form of the condition.

With retinitis pigmentosa, you may have vision loss in the following ways:
How is retinitis pigmentosa diagnosed?

Retinitis pigmentosa can be diagnosed and measured by:

Can retinitis pigmentosa be treated?

There is no single treatment for retinitis pigmentosa. Scientists are studying why and how retinitis pigmentosa happens within families. They hope to develop treatments based on this information.

Research shows that taking certain vitamins, including vitamin A palmitate, may help some people with retinitis pigmentosa. Your ophthalmologist can tell you if these vitamins might be helpful for you. If so, he or she can recommend which vitamins and how much you should take.

Some patients develop swelling of the retina and may be helped by a certain type of eye drop. Cataracts or clouding of the eye’s lens may also develop and surgery to treat this might be helpful for some patients. There is also an “artificial retina” called the ARGUS II implant, which may be helpful for some patients with severe vision loss due to retinitis pigmentosa.

People with low vision can learn to make the most of their remaining sight. There are many devices and ways to do things differently that can help with tasks. Vision specialists can teach you to use these tools and techniques.

If you have retinitis pigmentosa and plan to have children, you might want to speak with a genetic counselor to learn about your chance of passing this eye condition on to your children.


Kierstan Boyd. Retinitis Pigmentosa Diagnosis and Treatment. Mar. 06, 2019,