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What is the treatment for loss of night vision?

Q: My father is 62 years old. His eyesight becomes very poor in dim light or after sunlight. We got his eyes thoroughly checked and we were told that his retina has become very weak due to which there is loss of night vision. I asked the doctor if surgery could help in improving my father's eyesight and he replied in the negative. We were just advised to give some vitamin capsules to my father. Now, I want to know whether there is really nothing that can be done to improve my fathers eyesight? Can retinal detachment surgery help in this case? Where can we get it done in India and what are the approximate expenses involved? Please advise.

A:From your description it appears that your father has retinitis pigmentosa. Retinitis pigmentosa is a degenerative disorder of the retinal photoreceptors, the rods. This affects night vision and also results in marked reduction of the field of vision. There is no known treatment for retinitis pigmentosa - medical or surgical. We cannot prevent, retard the progression of, or reverse the disease process. The only thing that can be done at present is evaluation and prescription of low vision aids and rehabilitation and genetic counseling.

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