Retinitis pigmentosa is often hereditary (runs in families). If you or your partner has retinitis pigmentosa, there may be up to a 50 percent chance that you will pass it along to your children. Ask your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) about genetic counseling if you are planning to have children.
The rate of progression and degree of visual loss varies from person to person. Most people with RP are legally blind by age 40, with a central visual field of less than 20 degrees in diameter. In some families with a certain genetic RP trait, males are more often and more severely affected; females carry the genetic trait and experience vision loss less frequently.
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