You may know several conditions, like high blood pressure and diabetes, that run in families, but did you know there are many eye conditions that are inherited? Read more to learn about the most common of these conditions.
Glaucoma is a condition in which the nerve that connects your eye to your brain is damaged. This damage is often caused by abnormally high pressure in your eye(s). The onset of glaucoma can be a very gradual process, in fact, you may not even notice! But if left untreated, glaucoma can eventually lead to vision loss or blindness. Subsequently, it is a leading cause of blindness for those over 60.
The good news is, testing for glaucoma is an easy and painless procedure which can be completed during your yearly eye health exam. With early detection, there are many treatments available. These treatments may include eye drops, laser procedures, and sometimes even surgery.
Glaucoma is one of the most common inherited eye conditions. You are much more likely to have glaucoma if a family member has been diagnosed, with an even higher chance if that family member is a sibling. So be sure and notify your eye care professional if you have a family history!
Many of us know someone who is "color blind," but they are most likely color deficient. True color blindness, or achromatopsia, is very rare and means that a person can only see in black, white, and shades of gray. Red/green color deficiency is the most commonly diagnosed while blue/yellow deficiency is rarer.
Screening for color blindness/deficiency is a simple procedure which is part of a comprehensive eye heath exam. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for color deficiency, but there are certain lens tints or treatments which enhance your ability to distinguish between colors.
Color deficiency is inherited, being passed through a gene located on the X chromosome. Men only have one X chromosome while women have two. Usually the mother is not color deficient but is a "carrier" of this trait. This condition is typically passed from a "carrier" mother to her son, and therefore is much more common in men.
Strabismus is a common eye condition seen in children. If you have strabismus your eyes are misaligned and drift in different directions, either constantly or intermittently. The most common types are exotropia, in which one turns outward, and esotropia, in which one eye turns inward.
Treatments for strabismus are available and include prescriptions eyeglass lenses, patching or eye drop therapy, and surgical intervention.
Strabismus is often the result of high refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism). It can also be developed due to an underlying weakness, damage or poor nerve supply to the muscle. This condition is typically inherited, so be sure and share any family history with your eye care provider.
If you have any questions/concerns about your family history related to these eye conditions, give us a call at 256-801-0099. We will be happy to set up a complete eye health exam and a personalized treatment plan!