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What is the Treatment for Retinitis Pigmentosa?

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There is no treatment for retinitis pigmentosa, but there are some effective treatments that are thought to slow the progression of the disease. This eye condition can run in families, and it's often caused by some sort of genetic defect. In this eye disease, the cells that manage night vision are usually the most affected. The first sign of retinitis pigmentosa is dark lines appearing on the retina. Gradually, the patient suffers the loss of side (peripheral) vision. It can appear in childhood, but usually doesn't cause severe problems until patients are adults. It's not one of the most common eye conditions, and it does have some alternative treatment options.

Treatment of Retinitis Pigmentosa

There is no effective treatment of retinitis pigmentosa, but there are some things you can do to slow down the disease. First, if genetic testing indicates you have the disease, you should always wear sunglasses to protect your retina from damaging UV light. Many researchers and doctors recommend taking an antioxidant, such a lutein or vitamin A palmitate, which can help slow the progression of the disease. Lutein is present in the macula of the eye, which can also degenerate, and lutein promotes overall eye health.

Future Treatments of Retinitis Pigmentosa

Researchers are looking into new treatments for the disease, and they are also helping to develop microchip implants that can be inserted inside the retina. Total blindness is not common with this disease, but loss of vision is, so these retina implants could help those with the most severe forms of the disease. Scientists are also studying gene therapy in an attempt to help patients with the disease, and there are other studies looking into various ways to manage the disease.

If you're diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa you should definitely see a low-vision specialist. They have devices that can help people who suffer from night vision problems that come from this eye condition. You should also have regular eye exams to look for other conditions, such as retinal swelling or cataracts, which can also occur with this disease. Those conditions can be treated successfully. So, while there is no real treatment for retinitis pigmentosa, there are things you can do to minimize the effects of the disease.

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