Do Genetics Affect Eyesight?

Genetics are responsible for many parts of our makeup including eye color, hair color, height and disease potential. But, what about vision? Poor eyesight is averagely considered to be anything below 20/20 vision. Eyesight conditions can be caused by various factors, among them being an individual’s lifestyle and the environment. Many people also associate poor eyesight with genetics. But is it possible that genetics can affect eyesight? While many eyesight conditions are hereditary, it is not simple to conclude that poor eyesight is genetic. The following are some of the eyesight conditions that can be passed down on family members:

Glaucoma
Glaucoma affects the optic nerve which is the pathway connecting an individual’s eyes to the brain. This eye disease starts with peripheral eye vision which could eventually lead to blindness. Other signs of glaucoma include bulging eyes, abnormal sensitivity to light and excessive tearing. The majority of people affected by glaucoma are said to be older adults. The disease can also take effect on patients dealing with diseases such as diabetes and blood pressure and those with a family history of glaucoma.

Refractive Errors
Refractive error is one of the most common eyesight conditions among individuals of all ages. This condition occurs when light cannot be focused correctly on the retina due to the shape of the eye. Refractive errors such as farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism can sometimes occur in healthy eyes. Researchers have associated such occurrences to genetics. This means that parents with refractive errors have higher chances of passing the condition on to their children.

Importance Of Understanding One’s Family Vision History
Not many people know that eye disorders can be passed down from in a lineage. Therefore, it is crucial for an individual to understand the eye health of their family. Knowing accurate family vision history will not only give one a clue to their eyesight future but can also help their eye specialist keep their eyesight in good condition. Besides having some knowledge of family eye health history, it is also important to have regular eye exams with a specialist. This is to detect any suspicious eye problems before the issues escalate.

Are Genetic Eye Conditions Gender Bias?
Some eye conditions are also more likely to affect one gender than the other. An example of such an eye condition is color blindness, which is more common in men than women. On the other hand, disorders such as macular degeneration and cataracts affect more females compared to males. Researchers have linked this gender bias to age and hormones. Most vision problems are age-related. Women tend to live longer than men, which explains why eyesight problems are mostly found in the female gender. Disorders such as dry eye syndrome are associated with hormones. Women tend to have more autoimmune disorders, which facilitate vision issues.

Can Genetic Eye Disorders Be Corrected?
An eye doctor will request a specialized evaluation and testing in the case that an individual is suspected of having a genetic eye disease. Genetic eye problems can be treated effectively if detected early enough.

For tips or a consultation about your eyesight and how it can relate your genetics and to schedule an appointment contact us today at 561-798-0244.

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