Retina pigmentosa refers to not one but a group of eye disorders. These are passed genetically and have no known cure. In most cases, the patient experiences a gradual loss of sight that can begin young and finally reach complete blindness while they are 40 to 50 years of age. Not every case of Retina pigmentosa develops so slowly. Some children develop this problem and experience quicker eye sight deterioration.
Changes in the Eye
In cases of Retina pigmentosa, the eye will begin to change. The retinal pigment may become mottled while other eye features appear waxy, including the head of the optic nerve. The retinal blood vessels will appear to thin as well. An eye doctor may notice these symptoms and recommend a treatment plan that can possibly stave off total blindness so the patient can enjoy more years of sight than they otherwise would have.
Symptoms of Retina Pigmentosa
Retina pigmentosa can take decades to cause blindness, but during that time the patient will begin to notice some serious changes. The first is dramatic tunnel vision that gets worse over years. This encroaching tunnel vision can start faintly, but will eventual block away a majority of the patient’s field of view. Night blindness will also develop. This refers to the patient’s inability to see in low lighting (especially at night time). Even before total blindness happens, night blindness can make it impossible for the patient to drive during certain times.
Treating Retina Pigmentosa
Frustrating as Retina pigmentosa can be, those diagnosed with it must deal with the eventual loss of eye sight. This category of eye conditions have no cure. For now, most doctors will try to hold off the gradual loss of eye sight as much as possible. This is usually done with doses of vitamin A palmitate. Some modern studies also prove that sufficient vitamin A supplements can also help stave off blindness for as much as a decade.