Urban Optique
4935 40 Ave NW #132 Calgary AB T3A 2N1 (403) 286-4142

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Calgary, AB


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Information About Retinitis Pigmentosa

A disorder that decreases vision over time, due to loss of function in the retina of the eye. Side and night visions get worse over time and, if the disease advances, central vision often gets worse as well.
Each individual who has retinitis pigmentosa will experience it in a different way. How fast the disorder progresses will also differ from one person to another. A vision problem in low light or darkness is often the first symptom, and the loss of peripheral vision is usually the next to go. Many will have a hard time clearly making out details such as letters, numbers, or certain images.
Over time the disease often advances, which results in tunnel vision and often the deterioration of central vision. Retinitis pigmentosa does not usually lead to the complete loss of vision, although in a few people it does lead to blindness.
The majority of cases of retinitis pigmentosa have a genetic-linked cause. This may include an X chromosome genetic mutation, or an inherited recessive or dominant gene. Retinitis pigmentosa can also be a result of other genetic syndromes such as Refsum disease, Bassen-Kornzweig disease, Alport syndrome, or Waardenburg syndrome. Not all genetic causes are inherited. In rare cases, the abnormal development of the embryo can lead to the disease.
Managing the Condition
No known treatment is currently available for those with retinitis pigmentosa, but there are a number of ways to help ease certain symptoms.

  • Vitamin A- High doses of this vitamin has been shown to possibly decrease the speed of progression. Recommended doses are at around 1½ to 2 times the normal amount. This can lead to toxicity in certain individuals, so patients should speak with their healthcare provider first.
  • Filtered Glasses- Because many individuals are bothered by bright lights, an amber filter that has been mounted to eyeglasses may help.

Gene Therapy- This experimental therapy is being researched to see how mutated genes can be deactivated or replaced.

Written by Russ Reisner

Dr. Reisner and Dr. Kuntz (who is also Dr. Reisner’s uncle) acquired and expanded Urban Optique into its current location in 2006 and 2007. Dr. Reisner was born and grew up in Limerick, Saskatchewan – a small farming community about an hour south of Moose Jaw. After attending the University of Saskatchewan he earned his degree in Optometry from Indiana University in 2001. Dr. Reisner is very proud of everything he and his colleagues have accomplished.

More Articles by Russ Reisner

Our Location

Located on the main floor of the Market Mall professional building. Providing eye exams, in-stock contact lenses and over 2,000 frames from over 40 brands of eyeglasses. Free parking is available for this Northwest Calgary location.


4935 40 Ave NW #132
Calgary AB, T3A 2N1

Contact Information

  • Monday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Tuesday: 9:00am - 9:00pm
  • Wednesday: 9:00am - 9:00pm
  • Thursday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Friday: 9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Saturday: 9:30am - 5:30pm
  • Sunday: Closed
  • Dr. Russ Reisner
  • Dr. David Schmidt
  • Dr. Pri Tawar
  • Dr. Nevin McIvor
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