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Retinitis Pigmentosa: A Group of Rare Genetic Disorders but Very Delicate

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of eye diseases that affect the retina of the eyes, leading to loss of sight. This condition changes how the retina responds to light, making it hard to see. It is a genetic disorder that is inherited from parents to their children. However, it is quite rare, and only 1 in 4000 people get affected by it. And around half of RP patients have a family member having the disease.

What Leads to Retinitis Pigmentosa?

Your retina contains two types of photoreceptor cells, rods and cones that accumulate light. Rods are located around the outer ring of your retina and mostly respond to dim light. Conversely, cones are present in the retina's centre and are primarily responsible for colour vision and fine details.

When you are suffering from RP, the normal functioning of these rods and cones gets restricted, and the condition, if persisted, results in vision loss. During retinitis pigmentosa, the rods are the first ones to get affected and due to which your peripheral and night vision goes away. After this when RP affects the cones of the retina, you gradually start losing your central and colour vision.

RP can result from mutation of the gene that stimulates the production of PDE6 enzymes necessary for your vision. Sometimes men taking PDE5 inhibitor group of medicines like vidalista 60 for gaining erections may turn their RP worse. Vidalista 60 contains tadalafil that helps in regaining erections in men. However, Vidalista 60 improves the blood flow to the penis, causing an erection.

Vidalista 60 besides treating erection issues in men, often comes with some side effects. Moreover, vidalista 60 interacts with a few drugs making you more prone to side effects. In addition, sometimes vidalista 60 being a PDE5 inhibitor, inhibit PDE6, which can further reduce the level of PDE6. Thus vidalista 60 can harm your vision. So it is advisable to take such medicines, vidalista 60 only after consulting the doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of Retinitis Pigmentosa?

Retinitis pigmentosa usually affects a person during childhood which then grows up with time. However, the time when it starts and its symptoms may vary among individuals. Some of the people with RP lose a huge portion of their vision during early adulthood, and by reaching the age of 40 years, they are permanently blind.

  • As rods are the first ones to get affected by RP responsible for your night vision, the first symptoms seen in patients with retinitis pigmentosa often experience difficulty in seeing during the night, known as night blindness. During night blindness, it takes longer for you to adjust to the darkness. You may find it difficult to drive at night or unable to see in a dark theatre or dim rooms.
  • Sometimes just after losing your night vision, you may start losing your side or peripheral vision. This is known as tunnel vision which causes difficulty in seeing side by objects without turning your head.
  • When the condition persists, your cones get affected, which results in trouble in doing detailed work. Also, you may face difficulty in seeing colours. However, in some rare cases, instead of rods, your cones get damaged first.
  • Due to RP, you may also experience difficulty in seeing bright lights, a phenomenon known as photophobia.

What Are the Factors Leading to Retinitis Pigmentosa?

Retinitis pigmentosa results from damaged rods and cones, which can be due to the malfunctioning of certain genes. The disease can be inherited from the parents to their children in the following ways:

  • Autosomal Recessive RP- In this type of RP, the parent has one normal copy of the gene and one malfunctioned copy of the gene, however, they don't experience any symptoms. If a child gets two malfunctioned copies of genes one from each parent, he /she will get this type of RP.
  • Autosomal dominant RP- This type of RP develops when the child inherits only one malfunctioned copy of the gene from the parent.
  • X-linked RP- This form of RP occurs when the mother carrying the malfunctioned copy of the gene passes it to her child.

How Is Retinitis Pigmentosa Diagnosed?

An eye specialist may carry out the following tests to diagnose retinitis pigmentosa:

  • Visual Field Test- This test helps detect the damage to your peripheral vision and identify any developing blind spots.
  • Electroretinogram- This is much like ECG, where the doctor measures the retina's response to the light.
  • Ophthalmoscopy- If you have RP, then a certain kind of blind spot develops in your retina. Therefore, this test is carried out to detect the presence of such spots.
  • Genetic Test: For detecting which type of RP you have, your DNA is tested. This test also helps in detecting the severity of the disease.

How Is Retinitis Pigmentosa Treated?

Since there are over 100 genes responsible for RP, no treatment is available yet. However, researchers are continuously trying to find out the effective treatment for RP. Though RP can't be cured, its progression can be slowed down and its symptoms can be overcome to some extent in the following ways:

  • Vitamin A Palmitate- When consumed in a higher dose, vitamin A palmitate may slow down the progression of retinitis pigmentosa a little bit. Before starting to consume it, consult your doctor as it can be toxic when taken in excess.
  • Acetazolamide- As the disease progresses, the tiny area at the centre of your retina may swell, known as macular oedema, and affect your vision. This medication can help in reducing the swelling and thus preventing your vision.
  • Sunglasses - Sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun rays, thus preventing your sight.
  • Retinal Implant- At a severe stage, when none of the above methods works and your retina gets severely damaged, you may opt for the retinal implant that helps provide you with some vision.

NOTE: PDE5 group of medicines like Vidalista 60 or Viagra can make the prevailing Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) worse.

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