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Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis Pigmentosa refers to a group of inherited eye diseases causing the degradation of the retina. As we have discussed throughout the retina section of this website, the retina is a critical component of the eye responsible for interpreting images and transmitting them onto the brain. When retinitis pigmentosa develops, the cells, which are called rods and cones, die. The loss of visual fields is the indicator for retina pigmentosa and begins as a ring like distortion in the mid-periphery. Throughout the course of this degenerative eye disease the central vision is also lost and the result is tunnel vision. As a result of this progression patients are told not to drive automobiles even in the early stages.

There is little known about what causes Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), other than the fact that the disease is inherited and can be passed even if only one parent has the disease. Retinitis Pigmentosa is a rare condition affecting about 1 in 4,000 people in the United States. (source: NY Times)


  • Decreased vision at night or in low light
  • Loss of side (peripheral) vision
  • Loss of central vision (in advanced cases)

Retinitis Pigmentosa Treatment:

Many people are surprised to learn that there are no viable treatment options for Retinitis Pigmentosa. It is suggested to wear ultra-violet light protecting sunglasses to help preserve vision. There are currently several organizations working on treatment studies that are suggesting that the use of antioxidants may also slow the disease from getting worse.

Sources: The Juliette Foundation, Robert Melendez, MD,

Our Retina Specialists

Our retina specialists are board-certified in ophthalmology and fellowship-trained as specialists in retina/vitreous medicine and surgery.  Both have also been recognized throughout their careers, by colleagues and patients, for compassionate patient care and surgical skill.

Dr. Paul L Kaufman, M.D.

Dr. Jessica D. McCluskey, M.D.

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Your Vision Solutions

The available services at Thomas Eye Group range from comprehensive eye exams to specialty services in LASIK, retinal and corneal disorders, glaucoma, and plastic surgery. To correct vision problems, our doctors are trained in the most current refractive surgery techniques. We also offer contact lenses and glasses to those who prefer a traditional solution.

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Kids Vision

At Thomas Eye Group, we offer comprehensive eye care to children—specialty care especially for kids! As the largest pediatric eye care practice in the Southeast; we offer a complete scope of preventive and corrective eye care for children. From the detection and treatment of eye disorders to eye surgery, we also treat disorders of eye alignment in adults including double vision..

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Patient Stories

"To say that I am pleased with the outcome of my surgery is an understatement. What a difference this surgery has made in my life! It is so great to be able to read street signs - even the green ones - at night. Thank you so much!"
- Sally Stebbins

"Everyone the North Fulton office of Thomas Eye Group is so helpful. They feel like a part of my family now!"
- Paige Morris

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Meet Our Doctors

At Thomas Eye Group Atlanta, our board-certified ophthalmologists and optometrists have decades of combined experience in eye care. We work together as a team to bring you specialized, state-of-the-art care from caring professionals.

Our team of doctors is comprised of ophthalmologists, optometrists, and skilled support staff. Within our group of ophthalmologists, we have several sub-specialists, including LASIK, glaucoma, retina, and plastic surgery or Oculoplastics. At six locations throughout the greater Atlanta area, our group provides services ranging from comprehensive eye examinations and contact lens care to sophisticated microsurgery for cataracts, cornea and retinal disease, and refractive surgery, including LASIK.

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