Friday, March 7, 2014

The Symptoms of Retinitis Pigmentosa

RP is an inherited, degenerative eye disease causing vision impairment and often blindness. There are many symptoms that lead to this disease but they aren't always consistent. In some people they can start showing as early as infancy and progress as the person ages. Sometimes the symptoms may not start showing until later in life. Most people's symptoms show between the ages of ten and thirty.
Night blindness or nyctalopia is the most common and earliest symptom of people whose rods are affected first. Night blindness means it is difficult or impossible to see in dark or low light situations. It can be described as an insufficient adaptation to darkness.
This disease also causes tunnel vision, meaning you would have no peripheral vision. Most people with retinitis pigmentosa already have less than a 90 degree peripheral vision unlike those without this disease. On the other hand, a person can have just peripheral vision and no central vision which is another symptom of the disease, Having no central vision makes detailed things such as reading or threading a needle impossible.
Another symptom includes lattice work vision. The tissue of the peripheral retina has atrophied with blood vessels looking like a lattice pattern. Aversion to glare is another symptom. It means that it is even harder to see in bright glaring situations. People suffering from RP have a slow adjustment from dark to light situations and vice versa.
Other symptoms include inflammation of the retina, shrinkage of the retina, clumping of the retinal pigment as well as loss of kinesthetic senses. This means a person could lose sense of body movements. Blurring of vision, poor color separation and extreme tiredness are also symptoms of this disease.
As mentioned earlier, night blindness is the first symptom of people whose rods are affected. However if the persons cones are affected first, the usual first symptoms are decreased central vision and the ability to differentiate color. Blue is the hardest color for a person with retinitis pigmentosa to see. Many with this disease will develop cataracts, These can be removed with surgery but since the disease deteriorates the retina, it can't be stopped completely. It is difficult to predict the extent of vision loss or how fast it will progress.
In most cases, total blindness will eventually occur, however some do maintain a small amount of vision. This is an inherited disease and cannot be prevented.-By


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