Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic disorder of the eyes that causes loss of vision. Symptoms include trouble seeing at night and decreased peripheral vision (side vision).  As peripheral vision worsens, people may experience “tunnel vision“. Complete blindness is uncommon. Onset of symptoms is generally gradual and often in childhood.

Retinitis pigmentosa is generally inherited from a person’s parents. Mutations in one of more than 50 genes are involved. The underlying mechanism involves the progressive loss of rod photoreceptor cells in the back of the eye. This is generally followed by loss of cone photoreceptor cells. Diagnosis is by an examination of the retina finding dark pigment deposits. Other supportive testing may include an electroretinogram, visual field testing, or genetic testing. 

There isn’t currently a cure for retinitis pigmentosa. Efforts to manage the problem may include the use of low vision aids, portable lighting, or orientation and mobility training.

With reflexology I had the chance to treat a person affected by retinitis pigmentosa, achieving good results over time. The patient confirmed a slowdown of their disorder and an improvement of their peripheral vision, monitored through vision field tests.  Retinitis pigmentosa is a degenerative disease, and is not curable, but it is possible to slow down the worsening of symptoms and improve quality of life.

By Annarosa Petrucci