Published: 12 January 2016 at 11:27
Research looks at emotional problems faced by people with Retinitis Pigmentosa
A new study shows that explaining their blindness to others is the biggest difficulty faced by people with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), which results in tunnel vision.
The research, carried out by academics at Anglia Ruskin University and published in the journal PLOS ONE, involved 166 people living with the inherited condition, which is the most common form of blindness amongst people of working age in the UK.
RP usually involves the loss of peripheral vision, so the ability to see fine detail with central vision is often unimpaired, but being able to move around safely can be difficult.
The researchers asked the participants about how they deal with misunderstandings because of their visual impairment and how easily they are able to explain to others what they can and cannot see. These tasks were rated as ‘impossible’ or ‘very difficult’ by 39% of respondents, with a further 27% rating them as ‘moderately difficult’.
Dr Keziah Latham, Reader in the Department of Vision and Hearing Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University, said:
The research was supported by the charity RP Fighting Blindness, which helped with the recruitment of volunteers.
Tina Houlihan, Chief Executive at RP Fighting Blindness, said:
The full research, which was carried out by academics from Anglia Ruskin’s Vision and Eye Research Unit, is available to read here.