Retinitis Pigmentosa: Does This Rare Eye Condition Run In Your Family?

eye doctor exam

Do you know what retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is? If the answer is no, you’re not alone. An estimated 100,000 people in the U.S. are living with RP, a rare, inherited disease that’s characterized by loss of vision. With RP, the cells in the retina – the part of the eye that receives light – gradually die, causing blindness.

Some of the most frequent symptoms of RP include night blindness and photosia (seeing flashes of light). Although the disease is progressive, the rate varies from person to person. According to, “most people with RP are legally blind by age 40, with a central visual field of less than 20 degrees in diameter.”

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