Inherited retinal diseases are any retinal diseases that were genetically passed on from a relative. The most common inherited retinal diseases include retinitis pigmentosa and Stargardt’s disease. These diseases can cause a significant reduction in peripheral and/or central vision that is often slowly progressive and begins at an early age. Since these diseases tend to run in families, it is important for any person with a family history of inherited retinal disease to have their retinas examined.
A retina physician can assist with diagnosing the underlying retinal condition and follow the retina over time to counsel the patient on any progression. Although no treatments exist for many of the inherited retinal conditions, there is active ongoing research on these diseases, and new treatments may be be on the horizon.