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Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is an inherited progressive retinal disease characterized by difficulty with night vision (often night blindness) and loss of peripheral vision. In RP, there is gradual destruction of some of the light sensing cells in the retina. Poor central vision or difficulty with color vision may be possible. Usually the RP patient’s retina has very distinctive appearances.

Some of the specialty testings other than the regular eye exam to confirm the diagnosis are:

  1. Electrophysiology testing i.e. ERG
  2. Visual field testing
  3. Fluroscein angiography
  4. Optical Coherent Tomography (OCT)

Possible therapies are as follows:

  1. Nutritional supplements (Vitamin A and E etc..) or medications
    • Some found benefits, others have no measurable changes
  2. Low vision rehabilitation, vocational guidance, mobility training etc
  3. Gene therapy
  4. Cell transplantation

Gene therapy and cell transplantation are all considered as investigational treatment modalities. There have been a lot of studies and researches done on animal models, but not too many done on humans, so safety and efficacy are the main issues to be considered.

To date, there is no effective treatment that can prevent or reverse the devastation vision loss from RP, hope future researches will bring some light for this rare eye condition.