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Retinitis Pigmentosa
Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited disease that damages the light-sensitive rods and cones located in the retina, the back part of our eyes. Rods, which provide peripheral and night vision, are affected more than the cones which provide color and clear central vision.

The first signs of RP usually appear during childhood or adolescence, often night blindness followed by a slow loss of side vision. Over the years, the disease will cause further loss of side vision. As the disease develops, people with RP may often bump into chairs and other objects as side vision worsens and they only see in one direction ? straight ahead. The rate of progression of the disease varies among patients and the type. Most patients are legally blind by around age 40.

There is currently no standard treatment or therapy for retinitis pigmentosa.

However, scientists have isolated several genes responsible for the disease and research into genetics may one day provide a prevention or cure for those who have RP.

Eye doctors specializing in low vision will often prescribe low vision adaptive aids to maximize the vision that patients have remaining.