Outpatient Clinic for Hereditary Eye Diseases

Visiting address
Orton, Tenholantie 10 E, 5th floor, Helsinki
Post address
P.O. Box 224, 00029 HUS
Ward secretary 09 471 77920 at 9–15
Fax 09 471 77909
Physicians: Eeva-Marja Sankila, Sanna Seitsonen
Nurse in charge: Taina Okkonen

A separate outpatient clinic for hereditary eye diseases has functioned at the Eye Clinic since 2000. The outpatient clinic is open two days a week. Patients are admitted to the clinic for examination on the basis of referrals from outpatient health care physicians, ophthalmologists and other specialists, such as medical geneticists.
The outpatient clinic examines patients suspected of having a hereditary eye disease. When necessary, the progress of the disease is also monitored. The patient’s relatives are examined if this can bring additional information on the disease and its mode of inheritance. Patients are also referred to the clinic for examination if it is thought that an eye examination might help to identify a more extensive syndrome.
Most of the patients at the outpatient clinic suffer from hereditary progressive degeneration of the retina, referred to by the general term retinitis pigmentosa. This disease usually involves night blindness, loss of peripheral vision and, in its advanced stages, impaired visual acuity and colour vision. In some patients, the symptoms begin with the weakening of reading vision, while mobility vision remains good. In addition to these measurable symptoms, patients often suffer from increased glare sensitivity and various other visual disturbances.
Hereditary degenerative conditions of the retina vary with regard to symptoms, the age of onset and the rate of progression of the symptoms. They can also be inherited in a variety of ways depending on the genetic defect causing the disease in the individual patient and family.
In order to diagnose and monitor hereditary eye diseases, visual functions are often examined extensively at the Eye Clinic’s examination clinic. When necessary, the patient is referred to another special department of the Eye Clinic for treatment and procedures, such as the Cataract Department or the Rehabilitation Clinic. For actual genetic counselling, patients are referred to a medical geneticist.