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News » Retinitis pigmentosa: the eye condition which
Retinitis pigmentosa: the eye condition which
Retinitis pigmentosa is, unfortunately, one of the worst and most invasive disease that may affect our eyes. It, basically, has hereditary origins and entails a progressive degeneration of the retina in both eyes, which leads to a gradual loss of night vision up to, in the final stages, to loss of central vision.
Retinitis pigmentosa affects, according to some statistics, one in 4000 and appears generally between puberty and the age of maturity, although in quite rare cases, it can also affect children in early childhood.
What are the main symptoms of retinitis pigmentosa?
The main symptoms that are manifested in the presence of retinitis pigmentosa are essentially two:
• Twilight and Night blindness: greater difficulty seeing in low-light situations, so for example, in driving at night and getting adjusted in steps environments better enlightened others darkest, may represent the first symptoms dell\'affacciarsi of this pathology.
• Narrowing of the visual field: it engenders a tubular vision that causes a greater difficulty in seeing objects placed sideways.
As reflected retinitis pigmentosa?
The diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa, the ophthalmologist and geneticist relevance, is quite simple in the presence of the main symptoms.
The detection is performed by means of: examination and photography of visual acuity or ocular fundus, visual field examination, fluorescein angiography and electroretinogram.
These tests allow a diagnosis already in early childhood as well as adolescence and into adulthood. Undergo a visual control already by small is of paramount importance because this allows, where appropriate, it should prove necessary, to enjoy a timely care thereby avoiding the degradation of the disease.
If so true for everyone, undergo an examination is vital in the presence of an individual bearer of retinitis pigmentosa in the family unit: that, as mentioned, is, in fact, conveyed by inheritance.
What is the course of retinitis pigmentosa? Which his care?
The course of retinitis pigmentosa is always progressive and debilitating and has a very variable duration. In many cases, the symptoms are aggravated causing a greater narrowing of the visual field, which last can get to close completely.
Retinitis pigmentosa is also associated with the presence of other disorders as well, such as the inability to distinguish colors, glare and a particular form of cataract.
In severe cases it can even lead to retinitis pigmentosa, unfortunately, to blindness.
As regards the care we must note that the hyperbaric therapy (oxygen), on which were pinned many hopes to stop the evolution of the disease, was not completely resolutive. To date, therefore, retinitis pigmentosa is considered not curable.
The importance of research as a unique nursing perspective
Currently, prospects further in the fight against retinitis pigmentosa come to us from the research: it alone can identify the causes of the disease to adjust the course.
The main areas of research focus mainly on gene therapy, the use of stem cells and the retinal transplant or photoreceptors.
• Gene therapy aims to identify the genes responsible for the disease to be able to intervene with techniques of genetic engineering. Precisely it aims to replace the "defective" genes with healthy genes;
• The use of stem cells has the aim to replace the photoreceptors lost due to retinal degeneration;
• The transplant would allow the grafting of healthy cells on diseased retinas. This possibility, however, is still under study and, at the time, the retinas transplants have not encountered a real success;
• Immunology studies the theories that suggest an alteration of the immune system that trigger the disease.
As anticipated, to date, little can be done to counter retinitis pigmentosa.
However, as always, to intervene in good time in advance and, if possible, from an early age, it can say a lot in terms of the fight against this disease.