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Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited eye disease in which there is a breakdown of the nerve layer (retina) in the back of the eye. It can lead to blindness.

Often the first sign of the disorder is an inability to see in low light and darkness (night blindness). Those affected usually develop a ring-shaped blind spot surrounding the center of their visual field. This blind spot then expands to affect both central and peripheral (side) vision. Eventually all vision may be lost.

There is no effective treatment for retinitis pigmentosa. There is some evidence that taking vitamin A supplements may help delay the progress of the disease.

Retinitis pigmentosa is often linked with nearsightedness, certain types of cataracts, and problems with the macula, the portion of the retina that provides sharp central vision.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerCarol L. Karp, MD - Ophthalmology

Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.