Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is an inherited, degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness.
The progress of RP is not consistent. Some people will exhibit symptoms from infancy, others may not notice symptoms until later in life. Generally, the later the onset, the more rapid is the deterioration in sight. Retinitis Pigmentosa can effect the degree of peripheral vision.
The most challenging aspect of RP is that it is not stable. Sufferers must continually adapt to less and less sight and how that impacts their life, career and relationships.
Another aspect is that RP sufferers do not look different. RP does not result in any outward effect on the eyes and so people with RP “do not look blind”. Furthermore, though legally blind because of reduced field of vision or acuity, they may be able to see things that hold in their line of sight long enough (if bright enough) to comprehend e.g. see large or bright objects albeit indistinctly.