Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is an inherited eye condition that affects the photoreceptor cells responsible for capturing images from the visual field. These cells line the back of the eye in the region known as the retina.
There are many inherited retinal dystrophies (IRDs). Some IRDs primarily affect the outer, peripheral areas of the retina, while others mainly affect the macula in the central retina. In some cases, IRDs do eventually progress to complete loss of vision. All IRDs are directly caused by a mutation (fault) in a gene, which results in degeneration of retinal cells.
IRDs can be caused by mutations in any one of a large number of genes. Two individuals with the same clinical diagnosis (retinitis pigmentosa for example) might have different underlying genetic causes for their condition. You can find out more about this in our Unlock Genetics resource.
Retina UK supports everyone with an inherited retinal dystrophy, but we do not have the expertise to support those with other types of retinal disease such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, or detached retina. There are links to further support for these conditions at the end of this page.