06/03/2020, Delhi: Among the genetic disorders that can cause permanent vision loss,  retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is one of the prominent eye conditions. This is a group of genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and loss of rod cells in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue lines the back of the eye. As a result, the retina gets damaged that eventually causes harm in eyesight.

Generally, the symptoms of Retinitis Pigmentosa often begin in childhood. It starts with the deterioration of vision at night or in low light and loss of side vision. The destructive mutation of more than one gene responsible for eyesight is usually involved in this disorder.

The gene mutation can cause mal-formation of the photoreceptor cells or rod cells of the retina. Some of the mutations can even hamper the function of the photoreceptor cells. there are other types of mutation that leads to the production of a  toxic component that may be harmful to the rod cells or even can produce a type of protein that does not function properly and hamper the vision of the patient.

Different types of treatment procedures are practiced in India to deal with Retinitis Pigmentosa. Commonly used retinitis pigmentosa treatment in India are:

Treatment using Vitamin A Palmitate: Usage of high dose vitamin A can help to slow down the rate of deterioration of the disease each year. But long term usage of excess vitamin A can be toxic to the patient.

Retinal Implant surgery: Retinal implant surgery can be conducted in the final stage of the disease to salvage the remaining eyesight left so the person can have at least partial vision.

Use of a Sunglass: A sunglass is a useful device for an RP affected person suffers from light-sensitive vision. The use of sunglasses may be helpful to avoid further damage to the retina by avoiding the harmful ultraviolet ray of the sun.

Acetazolamide: This medication can help to reduce the swelling of the retina and also helps to improve the vision.

Stem Cell Therapy: This is an effective procedure where the cells release proteins that help to keep the patient’s existing vision and prevent any further deterioration.

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