Genetic factors are responsible for many eye diseases and conditions. There are more than 350 hereditary eye diseases, including color blindness, corneal dystrophies, night blindness, and glaucoma (to name just a handful).
Your family history and genetics play a role in determining which eye disorders you may be more susceptible to developing over time. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to discuss your family history with your eye care physician.
7 Facts About Hereditary Eye Diseases
Here are seven facts about hereditary eye diseases that you should know (listed in no particular order):
- More than 60% of cases of blindness among infants are caused by inherited eye diseases.
- Congenital cataracts and congenital glaucoma are present at birth.
- Up to 40% of patients with strabismus (ocular misalignment) have a family history of the condition.
- In adults, both glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration have been shown to be inherited in some cases.
- There is also evidence that problems such as amblyopia (lazy eye), myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism are genetically determined.
- Eye abnormalities are present in one-third of inherited systemic diseases, such as Marfan syndrome and Tay Sachs disease.
- Inherited conditions such as diabetes often have complications involving the eyes.
Discuss Your Family History with Your Eye Doctor
For all of these reasons, it is very important to share your family history with your eye doctor.
If you live in central New Jersey, contact the office of Dr. Robert Scharfman to set up an eye care appointment. We’ll be happy to go over your family history with you and take whatever precautions are necessary to preserve your vision.