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Which Eye Diseases Run in Families?

Family History of Eye Diseases

In adults the two main eye diseases that have a genetic link are glaucoma and age related macular degeneration (AMD). 

Glaucoma is a deterioration of the optic nerve caused by pressure in the eye or poor blood flow to the optic nerve. It has no symptoms at its onset. In most cases if you wait until you begin to realize there is something wrong with your vision to get glaucoma diagnosed, upwards of 70% of your optic nerve will have already been destroyed. Once the nerve is destroyed there is no way of reversing that today and treatment is focused on trying to preserve whatever nerve tissue is left. 

Your chances of getting glaucoma are four to ten times higher if you have a close relative with glaucoma. Getting your eyes examined regularly is always important but even more so with a family history of glaucoma. 

More on Glaucoma

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in most of the developed world. It too can cause serious vision loss if you wait until you have significant symptoms before you have it diagnosed. There are now some preventative treatments for AMD so the earlier it is detected the better off you will be. 

Having a close family member with AMD may increase your chances of having the disease to as high as 50 percent making timely diagnosis and treatment imperative. 

What exactly is AMD?

How is AMD treated? 

Other eye diseases that run in families include strabismus (crossed eyes), myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism

All of these family connections are important to know so you and your eye doctor can together take the best care of your eyes. Before your next eye exam ask your relatives if they have any history of eye disease. It might not make the lightest of conversation at your next family gathering but it could save your or your loved ones' vision. 

If it has been awhile since your last exam give Shore Eye Associates a call and schedule your eye exam with one of our highly trained eye doctors. We have 4 offices in Toms River, Brick, Whiting and Spring Lake Heights so make an appointment in the office most convenient for you.
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Saturday, 25 September 2021

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