What You Need To Know About Inherited Eye Conditions

Every cell in a person’s body carries twenty-three pairs of chromosomes. Within them are the genes you inherited from your parents. Within a gene there are variants. Studies show that these variants can decrease or increase your risk for developing some eye conditions. While the variants may cause a slight increase or decrease in one gene, when you add that up across multiple genes, it can really have an impact. Scientists have identified around 500 genes they know to contribute to eye diseases. These diseases can range from common problems to very rare and serious conditions.

Genetics 101

 

Amblyopia

This condition is more commonly referred to as ‘lazy eye’. It is a decrease in vision due to an abnormal visual development during the early formative years of infancy or early childhood. There are numerous disorders that can cause various types of abnormal visual development such as cataracts, myopia (short-sightedness), or strabismus (squinting).

Early On-Set Glaucoma

DNA and visionThis condition damages the optic nerves leading to a decrease in peripheral vision, mainly in people under age 40. Aside from the problems in vision it can also cause bulging of the eyes, increased sensitivity to light (known as photophobia) and excessive tearing. When let go without treatment it can cause blindness.

Congenital Cataracts

These are cloudy patches found on the eye’s lens at birth. Usually, they are part of a birth defect like ‘congenital rubella’ or ‘down syndrome’. They can affect both eyes or only one. Most babies that have this condition only have it in one eye. These types of cataracts have a different look than other types of cataracts (gray or whitish cloudiness in the pupil accompanied by rapid eye movement), which is known as ‘nystagmus’.

Achromatopsia

This is the loss of color vision, either partially or totally, due to a retinal disorder. There are other problems involved as well with this condition, like low visual acuity, unusually rapid eye movement, and increased abnormal sensitivity to light. Most people develop this condition within the first few months of their lives.

inherited eye conditionsGenes from your parents do play a huge role in eye health. However, it’s also important to remember that the majority of eye diseases come from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Lifestyle has a large influence on what happens with your eyes.

Anyone who is concerned about eye health needs to consult with their doctor and be evaluated and tested. A qualified eye doctor can map out a very comprehensive treatment plan to address whatever issues you may have.

If you are looking for an eye doctor for you or a loved one, we are committed to providing each patient with quality vision solutions. Our staff holds firmly to the value of offering excellent service, care and products through friendly, positive and professional teamwork.
Call us today at (646) 863-1997 or contact us for any questions that you might have on your eye care needs!

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