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Retinitis Pigmentosa

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by Wood D




There is no effective treatment or cure for retinitis pigmentosa. Treatment aims to help you function with the vision that you have. Your doctor can counsel you about expected patterns of vision loss based on the type of RP you have. Recommendations include:

Vitamin A

One study implied that large doses of vitamin A can slow the progression of RP by approximately 2% per year. However, the use of this finding is controversial. For one, it is a very mild effect given the large dose. Secondly, there may be side effects of such large doses of vitamin A. Always talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.

Light Avoidance

Although no direct link has been established, it is generally recommended that everybody, especially patients with disorders such as RP, wear dark UV-protected sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat in bright, sunny conditions, such as while skiing or at the beach.

Low-vision Aids

These may include the following:
These may include the following:
  • Magnifying glasses
  • Electronic magnifiers, which project an enlarged image onto a screen
  • Night vision scopes, which enlarge distant objects under conditions of low light
  • Lenses for distant vision (eyeglasses or contacts)
Some community organizations offer classes to help people with vision loss adjust and learn how to use vision aids. If you are considered legally blind, you are entitled to many low-vision services at no cost.
You should avoid taking sildenafil. Ask your doctor if there are other medications you should not take.


The Foundation Fighting Blindness

Prevent Blindness America

RP International



Canadian Association of Optometrists

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind



Cecil Textbook of Medicine . 21st ed. WB Saunders Co; 2000.

The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Retina and Vitreous, Basic and Clinical Science Course . 2001-2002.

Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine . 14th ed. The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2000.

Ophthalmology . Mosby International Ltd; 1999.


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