There is no effective treatment for this condition. The use of sunglasses to protect the retina from ultraviolet light may
have a vision-preserving effect.
Though controversial, recent studies have indicated that treatment with antioxidant agents (such as Vitamin A palmitate)
may delay the progression of this disease.
Referral to a low vision specialist is very helpful in maintaining patient independence. Regular visits to your eye care
specialist are important to monitor for the development of cataracts or retinal swelling -- both of which can be treated.
How is Retinitis Pigmentosa treated?
There is no known cure for retinitis pigmentosa. However, there are few treatment options such as light avoidance and/or the
use of low-vision aids to slow down the progression of RP. Some practitioners also consider vitamin A as a possible treatment
option to slow down the progression of RP. Research suggests taking high doses of vitamin A (15,000 IU/day) may slow progression
a little in some people, but the results are not strong. Taking too much vitamin A can be toxic and the effects of vitamin
A on the disease is relatively weak. More research must be conducted before this is a widely accepted form of therapy.
Research is also being conducted in areas such as gene therapy research, transplant research, and retinal prosthesis.
Since RP is usually the result of a defective gene, gene therapy has become a widely explored area for future research. The
goal of such research would be to discover ways healthy genes can be inserted into the retina. Attempts at transplanting healthy
retinal cells into sick retinas are being made experimentally and have not yet been considered as clinically safe and successful.
Retinal prosthesis is also an important area of exploration because the prosthesis, a man-made device intended to replace
a damaged body part, can be designed to take over the function of the lost photoreceptors by electrically stimulating the
remaining healthy cells of the retina.Through electrical stimulation, the activated ganglion cells can provide a visual signal
to the brain. The visual scene captured by a camera is transmitted via electromagnetic radiation to a small decoder chip located
on the retinal surface. Data and power are then sent to a set of electrodes connected to the decoder. Electrical current passing
from individual electrodes stimulate cells in the appropriate areas of the retina corresponding to the features in the visual