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Retinitis pigmentosa

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Retinitis pigmentosa is an eye disease in which there is damage to the retina, the layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye that converts light images to nerve signals and sends them to the brain.

Symptoms often first appear in childhood, but severe vision problems do not usually develop until early adulthood. These include:

  • Decreased vision at night or in low light
  • Loss of side (peripheral) vision, causing "tunnel vision"
  • Loss of central vision (in advanced cases)

The main risk factor is a family history of retinitis pigmentosa. It is an uncommon condition affecting about 1 in 4,000 people in the United States.


David C. Dugdale. Retinitis Pigmentosa. Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Accessed August 25, 2010.