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Many forms of sight loss are caused by degeneration of the layer of tissue at the back of the eye known as the retina.
This can lead to varying levels of vision loss which are specific to each person. Even within families with the same gene type, levels of vision loss can vary.
Retina Australia believes it is vital for people with inherited retinal diseases to understand the condition that affects them (of their family members) so that they can make informed decisions about eye care and the support that may be needed.
Researchers all over the world are investigating inherited retinal diseases (IRDs). They are continuously identifying the symptoms and causative genes so that they can use these finding to develop treatments and ultimately, cures.
Some conditions, such as forms of age-related macular degeneration and diabetes related vision loss, can be successfully treated. For some conditions that are rare, inherited and genetic we are still in the early investigative stages; for others we are moving towards human clinical trials, and even towards treatments being approved by regulatory bodies.
Initially researchers were focused on gene therapies solely but the development of innovative technologies and a better understanding of biology has meant that there are now many more pillars of research offering hope for treatment.