Developments in Our Office
Dr. Walter Campbell, Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, has had notable success in treating Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) without using any invasive procedures on the eyes. An accomplished Alternative Medicine physician and noted Chinese herbalist, he has developed a treatment protocol which employs homeopathy, acupuncture, unique vision exercises, homeopathic injections, nutritional guidance and traditional Chinese healing herbs to achieve improvements in night and day vision as well as color discrimination.
He has observed that RP results from inflammatory responses in the eyes which have been triggered by many different causes, and the impact of the disease therefore tends to vary widely between patients. His case histories demonstrate significant and positive outcomes resulting from the application of his protocol.
Most of his patients presented with their total visual field consisting of a white screen, with no color discrimination at all, and within their first three treatments following Dr. Campbell's protocol, several have regained or improved on their previous level of color discrimination. They are once again able to distinguish objects such as the patterns on individual playing cards in a standard deck. Their vision improvements within 4 to 6 months has been extraordinary, and several who had known only blindness for many years are now reading again as they move forward into a sighted future.
The National Eye Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health, estimates that there are more than 100,000 people in the United States who are affected by Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), a group of progressive degenerative vision disorders typically diagnosed in adolescents and young adults. The rate of progression and degree of visual loss varies from person to person, but most people with RP are declared legally blind by age 60, with a central visual field of less than 20 degrees in diameter. Night blindness is one of the earliest and most frequent symptoms.
Retinitis Pigmentosa can begin as early as 8-18 months after birth or as late as between 30 to 40 years of age. It is quite common for this condition to be mistaken for Stargardt's Disease when it starts between ages 2 and 8. It is a complex condition however, hence the need for specializing in this area. This condition has been shown to be both hereditary and non-hereditary.
Symptoms of RP:
- Night blindness
- Progressive loss of peripheral vision
- Tunnel vision
- Light and glare problems
- Some will experience a loss of central or total vision
Effects of Retinitis Pigmentosa on the Eyes
There are two types of photoreceptors in the human retina – rods and cones. Rods enable us to see black and white, while cones enable us to see colors. Retinitis Pigmentosa causes these photoreceptors to be underdeveloped, thus having a very short lifespan and weak light sensitivity. The defects in the genes cause an insufficient number of proteins and amino acids to be created.
The cell-rich retina lining the back inside wall of the eye is responsible for capturing images from the visual field, but as the photoreceptor cells in their retinas die, people with RP experience a gradual decline in their vision. The resultant effect is often referred to as "tunnel vision".
The cause of RP is unknown; it may be inherited and/or related to the body's immune system. There is currently no effective conventional medical treatment. Patients are usually encouraged to visit their ophthalmologist regularly, but the general view amongst ophthalmologists is that there is no cure for Retinitis Pigmentosa. Commonly proposed treatments such as vitamin-based medication, avoiding strong daylight, ozone or electro-stimulation have sometimes been observed to slow down the progress of the disease in some persons, but the distress and challenges faced by sufferers from this disease demand a more definitive, consistent and reliable treatment.