Can poor eyesight be inherited?
First, the good news: the majority of hereditary eye conditions are treatable. Science has already proven the generic origin of more than half of all eye diseases. Two of the three most common causes of blindness are often of genetic origin: age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, and glaucoma. The list of hereditary eye diseases is a very long.
Men suffer more frequently than women from genetic eye diseases, but women can be carriers of the disease gene. Genetic tests are already available for some familiar eye disorders. However, they are currently still expensive, and not everyone wants to know their future. There are also exceptions, such as life-threatening tumors in children which originate in the eye.
Let us take as an example defective vision, i.e. shortsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. If a genetic test (if one were available) for this came out positive, it would still generally mean using optical vision aids until the age of 20, after which a decision could be made regarding whether to replace glasses with corrective surgery. This process cannot be influenced by exercise or dietary measures.
Our second example is glaucoma. The only preventative measure is mandatory regular checks by the ophthalmologist, as the beginning of a glaucoma is not noticeable. If a subtle onset is then detected, patients today can generally be saved from blindness by beginning suitable treatment.
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