What is Reginitis Pigmentosa?
Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a rare genetic condition which causes the cells in the retina to break down. Genetic mutations cause changes in the protein levels which are harmful to retinal cells. These changes can take various forms depending on the genetic mutation.
Who can have Retinitis Pigmentosa?
RP can be passed on by two parents with recessive genes, one with a dominant gene mutation or, in some forms, from mother to son. Genetic testing can be undertaken in some cases. Consult your specialist for further information.
What can people with RP see?
Because the rods in the retina are usually affected first, people will experience night blindness, difficulty driving at night, sensitivity to changes in light and decreased peripheral (side) vision. This may progress to tunnel vision (severe loss of visual field), sensitivity to bright light or glare and, as the cones also become affected, will experience loss of detailed vision. Most people with RP will have lost most of their sight by early or mid-adulthood.
Because someone with RP may have changing vision over time, their technology needs will likely change. Those who start out needing only magnification software such as Zoomtext may need to introduce speech through something like Zoomtext Fusion or even JAWS. Apple products may be useful as their integrated assistive technology can allow for changing needs over time.
Introducing new technology, such as changing from pure magnification to speech, can be a difficult process. Talk with Elise and the team about how these combinations may help you.