Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the name given to a group of diseases of the retina, collectively called inherited retinal dystrophies, that all lead to a gradual progressive reduction in vision. Difficulties with night vision and peripheral vision are the first things that are noticed. Later, reading vision (detailed vision), colour vision, and central ('straight-ahead') vision are affected. The age at which symptoms start is variable and the rate of deterioration often varies - for example with the different genetic types - but is generally very slow with changes occurring over years rather than months. In approximately half of all cases there are other family members with RP. It affects approximately 1 in 3,000 to 4,000 people.

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