Treatment for Hereditary Retinal Disorders

Oct 20, 2016 @ 01:00 PM — by Retina Associates, P.A.

An older man smilingPeople in and around the Shawnee Mission area know that they can come to our eye care specialists to address major problems linked to retinal disorders. We will use our years of experience and the latest innovations in the field of advanced eye care to help preserve your eyesight for years and years to come.

Retinal conditions and diseases can lead to total vision loss if you are not careful. This is especially true of inherited retinal diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa. Let's take a moment to go over these hereditary conditions and what treatment options are out there.

What are Hereditary Retinal Disorders?

Hereditary retinal disorders refer to rare retinal conditions that are the result of genetic and congenital issues inherited from a person's parents. In many cases, these kinds of conditions affect the macula, which is the central part of the retina responsible for good central vision. This part of the retina is especially important for reading and driving.

Inherited retinal conditions can lead to serious vision loss if they are not properly managed or addressed. In some cases, they can lead to slow, progressive vision impairment and, over time, total vision loss.

Examples of Hereditary Retinal Disorders

Some examples of hereditary retinal disorders include the following:

  • Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) – This is a group degenerative eye diseases that are vaused by the death of rods and cones in the eyes, both of which are types of photoreceptor cells. Examples include rod and cone disease, Leber's congenital amaurosis, Usher syndrome, and Refsum disease.

  • Gyrate Atrophy – This condition is often linked to a deficiency in the enzyme known as ornithine aminotransferase.

  • Stargardt Disease – This slow progressive vision loss often starts in teenage years and is linked to a genetic problem with processing and recycling vitamin A.

  • Choroideremia (CHD) – This rare genetic condition almost exclusively affects young males, starting with night blindness and then leading to gradual loss of vision.

  • Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) – Caused by a combination of lifestyle and genetic factors, AMD affects the health of the macula over time (particularly later in life).

Are Inherited Retinal Conditions Curable?

No, they are not curable in a traditional sense, but there are many different therapies and treatments that can slow the progress of vision loss and preserve a person's vision for many years. Proper testing and diagnosis is crucial for halting vision loss as soon as possible.

Since symptoms of many of these conditions can potentially show up during childhood, regular doctor visits and pediatric eye exams are a good idea to consider.

Treatment Options and Regular Monitoring

The most common treatments for these inherited retinal conditions involve lifestyle improvements. This could mean avoiding smoking, taking vitamin supplements, improving your diet, and so forth. Wearing sunglasses when outdoors is also quite helpful for these matters and can go a long way toward preserving vision for years to come.

If diagnosed with a genetic retinal condition, it's important to undergo regular eye exams. These will help monitor the progress of your disease and to reassess your situation as it evolves.

Contact Our Team of Retinal Specialists

To learn more about proper care for your eyes and how retinal conditions can be proeprly dealt with, be sure to contact our team of experienced retina specialists today. We will work with you to address your eye health issues and restore your vision.

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