People who have RP4 goes through unique challenges that result from their vision loss. In patients with RP, the disease usually starts in childhood when patients find that their eyesight takes a long time to adjust to the dark. This is followed by eventual loss of night vision altogether, which the patients often describe as though they have walked into a dark room with sunglasses on. This is followed by the loss of peripheral vision, where the field of vision becomes narrower and narrower until complete blindness. Despite the devastating effect of this disease on the quality of life in patients, RP is not fatal, and as a result, the lifespan of those who suffer from the disease is not affected. People who have RP generally know that they may also have RP because their family members have RP. Because RP is a degenerative disorder, people with RP find it harder to accept and adjust to being blind than people who were born blind. However, patients of RP also tend to adjust better than people who lose their sight suddenly as they have time to prepare for the eventual sight loss. Some of the adjustments that come with the loss of sight are, learning to use a walking stick and braille. Other challenges that are posed by the disease are there is a need for adjustment in jobs and loss of ability to drive. However, despite these challenges and adjustments, people who have advanced RP also have said that the disease was not as bad as they thought and that even though they are blind, they are still able to participate in society, which was not something that they expected.
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