retinal dystrophy

What is retinitis pigmentosa?

Retinitis pigmentosa is a disorder that falls into a group of inherited retinal dystrophies.

It affects certain cells in the retina, called photoreceptors, which are responsible for receiving light on the retina and sending it to the cerebral cortex, where the image is analysed.

It is a progressive disease, which means that signs and symptoms will progress over time. Initially, only the cells on the periphery of the retina are affected and over time, it continues to develop, moving towards the centre. There are multiple variations of the disease, which determine the age at which it appears and its seriousness.

Symptoms of retinitis pigmentosa

Both eyes are usually affected, although not necessarily symmetrically. Initially, it is practically asymptomatic despite there already being damage at the back of the eye.

The most prevalent symptoms include:

Reduction in vision

This becomes more intense in dim light or at night.

Concentric reduction of the field of vision

Reduction in peripheral vision, with central vision remaining intact. This gives patients at the latter stages something like tunnel vision.



Since this is a painless and progressive disease, patients notice a reduction in vision at the latter stages of the disease, which leads to a delay in the diagnosis.

Diagnosis requires a thorough ophthalmological examination and the use of advanced technology such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) which will enable us to see the affect on the photoreceptors in three dimensions, the field of vision and the electroretinogram.


There is currently no cure for retinitis pigmentosa. There are numerous multicentre studies underway worldwide working to bring a solution to the thousands of people affected by this disorder. As a clinic, our commitment is to remain up to date on the latest developments to offer our patients the latest advances available.


Regular check-ups are vital to being able to provide an early diagnosis as we can control the related risk factors and also treat conditions related to this disorder and conditions that may appear as it develops, such as macular oedema or posterior subcapsular cataracts.


At CLÍNICA RAHHAL, we have state-of-the-art technological equipment which, combined with our teamwork, ensures the best results.

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“I have been going to Rahhal for many years with my entire family because of the quality of the service and the family-friendly atmosphere that the whole team provides”.

Fernando Alcañiz. 

“Besides his professionalism, you can see that Dr Rahhal enjoys his work and is happy doing it. I went to him for an initial consultation and have never thought about going to another clinic. I am truly delighted”.

Lourdes García. 

“I have been a patient for some time and I am delighted with them. The staff are attentive and very professional, and the facilities are excellent. Highly recommended!”

Esther Herranz. 


Select one of the following frequently-asked questions from our patients to show the answer. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please contact us using the form below.

If I suffer from retinitis pigmentosa, can someone else in my family also have it?

Yes, since it is a disorder with a significant genetic component, there may be other cases in the same family even if not all are affected in the same way. There may be some cases that are very symptomatic and others that display few symptoms, which is why an eye examination is essential.

Is there a cure?

We currently have treatments for some of its complications, such as the early development of cataracts or macular oedema.

However, to date, there is no treatment for the disease, although some stem cell and gene therapy treatments are under study.

Should I have regular check-ups?

Yes. Check-ups are needed in order to provide an early diagnosis of any complications (such as the appearance of cataracts) that may be resolved and to give the patient a better quality of vision. The development of the disorder must also be tested.

Initial consultation

Leave your details here and we will get in touch to offer you an appointment with one of our ophthalmologists. We will send you an email confirming receipt along with the details of the appointment requested. We will then call you within a few working hours to confirm the appointment requested.