Many inherited sight loss conditions occur when cells in the retina, which is the light-sensitive region at the back of the eye, deteriorate in an unpredictable way. These conditions are often referred to as inherited retinal dystrophies.
Inherited retinal dystrophies, which include retinitis pigmentosa (RP), Usher syndrome and Stargardt disease, are the most common cause of blindness in working-age people in the UK. Yet the conditions are rare, with only 25,000 people affected in the UK.
More than 300 genes have been linked to inherited sight loss conditions and many more are yet to be identified.