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The Role of Genetics in Eye Health: What You Inherit Matters

Have you ever wondered why the first part of your experience at the eye doctor, before the testing commences, starts off with paperwork, usually with a lengthy list of checkboxes indicating yes or no detailing your family medical history? It’s because of the significant role of genetics in eye health-what you inherit matters. There is a correlation between your family history and developing or being predisposed to certain eye diseases as well as medical conditions that could impact vision. 

According to experts, more than three hundred eye ailments and conditions are attributed to hereditary factors that include age-related macular degeneration, color blindness, congenital cataracts, congenital glaucoma, night blindness, retinitis pigmentosa, optic atrophy, and eye malformations. In the last two decades, genetic experts have identified approximately 500 genes that contribute to inherited eye diseases. In addition, refractive errors such as astigmatism, myopia, and hyperopia are hereditary conditions. If your parents or grandparents had an eye disease, the odds of you developing the same disease is higher than someone whose family medical history is free of the diagnosis. 

If your family has a history of ocular disease, you are not doomed for inevitable vision loss. In fact, most eye conditions when caught in the early stages of development can either stop progression or be reversed. To preserve your vision and reduce the risks brought on by genetic components, you can do the following: have annual eye exams, monitor vision for clarity, wear UV-blocking sunglasses year-round, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, avoid smoking, and follow your doctor’s advice for managing and preventing genetic eye diseases and disorders. Genetic testing is also available for those who are unsure about their family history or those who have concerns about gene mutations and the possible effects on vision. 

For more information, spend some time with one of our ophthalmologists at Skyline Vision Clinic who can go into detail about your medical history, genetics, and eye health concerns. Testing is swift, painless, and informative and can offer you some peace of mind about what is going on inside and behind the eyes. Quality vision is one of the most important aspects of your life, Take the time today to schedule a comprehensive eye exam by calling 719-630-3937 or visiting here WEBSITE