Retinitis Pigmentosa

What is retinitis pigmentosa?

The retina is the tissue lining in the back of the eye. When light rays enter the eye, the retina converts those rays to signals to our brains, thus allowing us to "see" an image. Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic condition (runs in families) related to the retina's response to light. People with this condition commonly experience gradual loss of vision.

Symptoms sometimes begin in childhood and may include:

  • Difficulty adjusting to darkness and dimness
  • Loss of central vision (needed for reading and other detailed tasks)
  • Loss of color vision
  • Tunnel vision (loss of peripheral vision)
  • Poor night vision

Diagnosis and testing for retinitis pigmentosa

If you are having problems with vision, be sure to talk with your doctor or ophthalmologist. To test for retinal problems, your doctor may suggest testing such as:

  • Electroretinogram
  • Fluorescein angiogram
  • Intraocular pressure
  • Refraction test
  • Visual acuity

Retinitis pigmentosis treatment options

Modern medicine continues to advance with new surgical and nonsurgical approaches to retinitis pigmentosis. Your doctor may suggest a range of therapies and treatments to prevent further vision loss and improve vision, as well as certain devices such as visual aids, closed caption television, and lighting devices to help you better perform daily tasks.



Main Line Health offers ophthalmology services for patients throughout the Philadelphia region who have eye conditions.