Ophthalmic advices:Retinitis pigmentosa

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Retinosis pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa is a disease of the retina, in which a deterioration of the retina and its operation occurs. The retina is an internal layer of the eye, which is the basic vision in which the images are projected and transmitted to the brain. It is a retinal dystrophy progressively impairs vision, night blindness, and cause gradual reduction of the visual field affects the peripheral vision. Most common problems are cataract, glaucoma and macular edema. It is a hereditary disease of the retina frequently.


The cause of retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic problem in the functioning of some cells of the retina. Photoreceptor cells (rods and cones), responsible for capturing images and trigger a series of chemical and electrical phenomena are especially affected. Cones process information colors from red, green and blue pigment and Canes match the amount of light. The rods are initially affected by which patients lose night vision. Pigment epithelium of the retina, which is responsible for providing the functions of rods and cones are also affected. Involvement of the retina produces pigment deposits, vessel narrowing and pallor of the optic nerve.

Most forms are inherited finding relatives affected. Study the family can give information about the behavior and evolution of the disease and helps in decision making.


The discomfort that the patient explains vision loss are more markedly at night or in low light, dark adaptation is more lengthy. In more advanced cases the visual field decreases from the peripheral portion of the remaining central vision remains, it is as if the patient looking through a tunnel that becomes more narrow. In many cases, the patient noticed until it has already significantly decreased vision and field of vision. The quality of life of patients may be affected by the reduced visual field causing insecurity eg walking with increased risk of falls.

The first symptoms usually appear during youth, but can occur at any age. The patient can view and maintain independent living with some limitations mainly by decreased visual field mobility makes it more complicated. With the help of visual rehabilitation can greatly benefit from view and make a very normal life. It is important to visit the ophthalmologist at the slightest suspicion.


To diagnose the retinitis pigmentosa a complete eye examination under pupil dilation to evaluate the retina is required. Pigment accumulation, narrowing of the vessels and the white, pale optic nerve was observed in the retina.

For more information about the state of the retina may be necessary to seek an optical coherence tomography (OCT) to detect retinal edema, which may occur. Often fluorescein angiography is required. Are important electrophysiological studies (electroretinogram and electrooculogram) for the diagnosis and monitoring. Genetic testing is recommended to the patient and family. It may be associated with other diseases.

Periodic eye exams are important for early diagnosis and treatment.


The treatment includes visual rehabilitation and monitoring for eye ailments associated. Patients tend to develop cataracts, glaucoma and macular edema that are treatable in some cases improving the light. There is no specific treatment for retinitis pigmentosa, but some cases, when indicated, may benefit from treatment with vitamins and minerals. Elements of low vision can be a great help to these patients adapting their needs and significantly improving their quality of life. Currently there are several ongoing investigations with promising results but not yet applicable.