Herbs and Supplements to Use Only with Caution
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of inherited eye diseases that can lead to severe visual problems. This disorder is named for the irregular clumps of black pigment that occur in the retina.
In most forms of retinitis pigmentosa, cells in the retina called "rods" die. This leads to impaired night vision, as well as a decrease in ability to see things off to the side while looking ahead (peripheral vision). In some forms of RP, other retinal cells called "cones" die. This leads to a decrease in central and color vision. In all forms of RP, vision loss usually progresses over a period of many years. Loss of vision is usually first noted in childhood or early adulthood.
Conventional medicine for retinitis pigmentosa is largely limited to vision aids.
Proposed Natural Treatments for Retinitis Pigmentosa
No natural treatments have been proven effective for retinitis pigmentosa, but some approaches have shown a bit of promise.
Herbs and Supplements to Use Only With Caution
In the large vitamin A study noted above, some participants were given vitamin E at a dose of 400 IU daily. The results indicated that use of vitamin E at this dosage might actually speed retinal damage rather than slow it. Until these results are clarified, people with retinitis pigmentosa should avoid taking high dosages of vitamin E. (The daily requirement for vitamin E is far lower than this: 33 IU daily for most adults.)
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 07/2012 -
- Update Date: 07/25/2012 -