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Question:
My boyfriend was born with retinitis pigmentosa. He is 31 years old and has tunnel blindness and nighttime blindness. He has been taking vitamin A to prolong his vision, which continues to get worse. Most websites say there is no treatment or cure, but one says that there are electric procedures and chip implants that have worked. Can one of these procedures help him? If he becomes blind, will it be too late if other treatments become available?

Answer:
Unfortunately, at the present time, there are no cures for retinitis pigmentosa (RP). However, there is some theory behind high-dose antioxidant vitamins, like vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper that may slow retinal degenerative processes. There are some ongoing studies on RP and hopefully the future will hold significant treatments that can slow the disease process and help to save vision. There are some implants that are being studied at present as well. We unfortunately do not know if future treatments will help if someone is already blind.

Answered by: Abdhish Bhavsar, MD  Dr. Abdhish Bhavsar

Categories: Eye Diseases

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Answered: Apr 19, 2012

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