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Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of heritable diseases that cause progressive degeneration of the retina in both eyes. The signs of the disease usually present in youth or young adulthood, but can occur at any age. The symptoms of RP vary and can include night blindness in early stages of the disease. During later stages, patients experience a progressive loss of peripheral vision leading to blindness.


Researchers at Bascom Palmer’s Retinal Degeneration Center are conducting research into the genetic causes and possible treatment options for RP. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for retinitis pigmentosa. Many patients with progressive RP may continue to perform daily tasks with the help of telescopic lenses, magnifying lenses, field enhancers, and other low vision aids. Bascom Palmer Eye Institute has a Low Vision Clinic to assess patients’ remaining vision, prescribe appropriate low vision aids, and train patients in their proper use.