Retinitis Pigmentosa – Symptoms, Causes and Treatments
- 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.