There are certain traits in our parents that we may well hope to inherit. If we have a mother who has been an Olympic standard sportswoman, we may hope as children to inherit some of her athletic prowess and ability. If we had a grandfather who was an artist, we may wish some of his skill comes our way.
Passed Down In Our Genes
Along with the talents and gifts we inherit from our forebears, we may also find that certain genes are passed down to us which we would rather be without – and some of these could have a drastic effect on our eyesight.
The majority of children who are suffer from blindness as babies are affected by inherited diseases. These might include congenital cataracts, malformations of the eye and degeneration of the retina.
Being diagnosed with cross-eyes and ‘lazy’ eyes is largely a result of genetic inheritance from one’s parents and both are common eye problems in children and adults. In addition, a propensity to shortsightedness (myopia) and longsightedness (hyperopia) is something that you also may well inherit from your parents and grandparents – so if you’re having trouble with your eyesight as an adult, look at some family photographs and see at what age your grandparents were wearing glasses – it might have some bearing on your own eyesight.
A Classic Sign of An Inherited Disease
Tay-Sachs disease is a genetically inherited condition and one of the factors in making a diagnosis can be when a cherry red spot is noticed in the eye during an examination, which is indicative of the condition.
If serious eye problems, such as macular degeneration, have affected several members of your family, your child may well be referred to a genetic eye disease specialist who will carry out tests and may recommend future action. Be prepared to give as much information as you can on known eye conditions within your family tree, whether they were congenital and at what age they occurred.
You should remember that just because there is a family history of certain eye conditions, it does not necessarily follow that you yourself will be affected. In addition, if you or your children are eventually diagnosed with an eye complaint, you should remember that medical research in this area has made tremendous advances in recent years and treatment and management of formerly devastating eye diseases offers the patient much more in way of relief and rehabilitation than previously.