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Treatment Ophthalmology & Optometry

Retinitis Pigmentosa

At this time, there is no cure or treatment available to slow vision loss in RP or associated retinal disorders. However, RP sometimes causes other eye problems that can be treated, such as cataracts or swelling in the retina. Research is being conducted at UCSF and around the world with the aim of developing effective treatments for the disease. Gene therapy, stem cell therapy and growth factors are being scientifically tested as potential treatments for RP.

In addition, a large clinical trial completed in the U.S. in 1993 showed that vitamin A has a small positive effect on visual function, and that vitamin E has a negative effect. The Foundation Fighting Blindness and the National Eye Institute recommended that some adults with RP should take a daily 15,000 international units of vitamin A palmitate supplement and avoid high dose vitamin E to help prolong their vision. Your ophthalmologist will discuss vitamin therapy with you.

Visual aids and adaptations around the home and at work, and training from social services and visual rehabilitation specialists can help those with RP. It may also be important to visit a genetic counselor who can discuss disease inheritance and help with family planning, career choices and other issues related to living with the condition.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

Seeking care at UCSF Health

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