Genetic Eye Diseases: The Importance of Knowing Your Family’s Medical History

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Eye Diseases That Are Hereditary

There are many reasons to know your family’s medical history and genetic eye diseases are among them. Eye diseases like macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma can be passed down genetically, so it is really important to know what’s in your family history! Here Dr. Gary Tylock, a Dallas LASIK surgeon, explains how knowledge of your family’s history of genetic eye diseases can save your vision.

  • Macular degeneration tops the list of eye diseases that are passed through the genes. If your family history contains age-related macular degeneration, your chance of developing the disease is fifty percent.
  • Next, on the genetic eye disorders list is glaucoma. People with a family history of glaucoma are four to nine percent likelier to develop the disease than those without.
  • Doctors are discovering more genetic connections for eye disease all the time. In fact, more than five hundred genes contributing to genetic eye diseases have been discovered over the past twenty years. Because research and treatments are rapidly evolving, it is important to share your family history with your ophthalmologist.

Why is it so important to share with your doctor all the eye disorders and diseases in your family tree? Because early detection is the best way to save your vision, and eye disease symptoms can often go unnoticed. If your doctor knows your family history contains, for example, degenerative eye disease, he will know what to look for during your exams, and may recommend that you have exams more frequently.

Of course, there are many things that can affect your vision, besides genetic eye diseases, so it’s best to have your eyes checked regularly. In the Dallas area, consider Tylock-George Eye Care and Laser Center for all your vision care needs. Led by pioneering LASIK surgeon, Dr. Gary Tylock, the medical professionals at the Tylock Center offer excellent patient care, using state of the art technology. Visit the website to learn more, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.