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Retinitis Pigmentosa – Symptoms, Causes and Treatments
3. Jan, 2010
The symptoms can occur in childhood but generally they begin in early adulthood.
The first symptom is night blindness.
After that gradual deterioration of peripheral vision takes place.
Central vision gets impaired by middle age.
It does not cause total blindness but still the vision loss is permanent.
The prominent cause is the mutation of several genes.
The damage caused by free radicals may increase the harm caused due to mutations.
This disorder generally occurs alone but in certain cases it may also occur in connection with various other inherited diseases.
This disorder is more prominent in males, as a particular inheritance pattern is caused by recessive gene on X chromosome.
This condition of more occurrences in males is because males need only one recessive gene for the gene to be expressed as retinitis Pigmentosa as they inherit an X chromosome from mother and Y chromosome from father, whereas females need two recessive genes since they inherit two X chromosomes.
This disorder cannot be prevented.
Vitamin A and other antioxidant supplements may help in slowing down the course of the disease simply by reducing the free radical damage to the retina.
The disorder is diagnosed by an ophthalmologist by examining the retina for dark spots.
In addition to this various other tests are needed which include an ultrasound of the eye.
The disorder cannot be cured but there are certain techniques that may help down the progress of the disease.
Monthly visits to an eye doctor are necessary to monitor the retina if in case of retinal swelling or cataracts.
Vitamin A supplements help in delaying the vision loss in people suffering from this disorder.
For slowing down hereditary effect of this disease, vitamin A may help in slowing down the development of this disorder.
Vitamin A along with omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic aid is very helpful.
The fatty acid is found in salmon, trout, Pollock, fish oil supplements and canned light tuna (not solid white).
Various other antioxidant supplements like vitamin E are found not to be helping the patients and as a matter of fact it is harmful.
Wear sunglasses whenever you go out, thus protecting the eye against ultraviolet light. This will help in delaying the disease.
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