Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetically transmitted disease, in which light receptors in the retina slowly lose function and are destroyed. The first area of vision to be affected is in the mid-periphery, but the entire field of vision gradually becomes smaller. Night blindness and loss of peripheral vision are the most common symptoms. One eye may be more affected than the other.
There is no known treatment for retinitis pigmentosa. Some individuals have been helped by specially tinted lenses. If research underway is successful in growing retinal tissue, replacement of the retina may become possible. A retinitis pigmentosa society has been established to keep people updated and to offer support.