Does genetics play a role in eye disease femeda

There are more than 350 hereditary eye diseases. These include albinism, retinitis pigmentosa, or retinoblastoma, to name a few.

In this article:

What types of eye diseases are inherited?

Genetic factors play a role in many eye diseases, including those diseases that are the main cause of blindness in infants, children and adults.

More than 60% of cases of blindness in infants are caused by congenital eye diseases such as cataracts (present at birth), congenital glaucoma, retinal degeneration, optic atrophy and ocular malformations.

Up to 40% of patients with certain types of strabismus (eye misalignment) have a family history of the condition. Efforts are underway to identify the responsible genes.

In adults
Glaucoma and age-related Macular degeneration Two of the main causes of blindness. Genetic factors play a significant role in both of them.

Researchers have already mapped several genes for glaucoma. Also, they already identified genes involved in macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa (degenerative retinal disease that causes night blindness and vision loss)

Can common vision problems be inherited?

Yes, genetics play a role here as well. Genetic researchers now have evidence that the most common vision problems in children and adults are genetic.

The list includes u.a.:

– Strabismus (cross eyes) – Amblyopia (lazy eye) – Refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and – Astigmatism.

Can eye abnormalities be caused by other diseases?

In ca. one third of systemic hereditary diseases have anomalies in the eye.

The presence of a specific ocular sign that it is associated with a systemic disease is often the determining factor in confirming the diagnosis.

Two examples:

– A dislocated lens can confirm the diagnosis of Marfan syndrome (connective tie disease). – A characteristic cherry-red spot in the eye usually indicates Tay-Sachs disease.

Also interesting

Common (hereditary) eye diseases

#1 Astigmatism

In astigmatism, the lens of the eye or the cornea has a irregular curvature at.

This changes the way light reaches the retina, causing blurred or distorted vision.

What are the types of astigmatism?

The two main types of astigmatism involve the cornea and lenses. A corneal astigmatism occurs when the cornea is misshapen. Lenticular astigmatism occurs when the lens is misshapen.

What causes astigmatism?

There is no one factor that causes astigmatism, but genetics play an important role. .However, astigmatism can also occur as a result of an eye injury or after eye surgery. Often occurs together with nearsightedness or farsightedness.

What is the risk of developing astigmatism?? Astigmatism may be present in children. adults occur equally. The risk is higher if there is a family history of astigmatism or other eye diseases such as keratoconus (degeneration of the cornea).

How to treat astigmatism?

The technology is now so advanced that vision can be restored without restriction after treatment.

#2 Retinoblastoma

A retinoblastoma is a malignant tumor of the retina. Infants and young children are most commonly affected, adults are less likely to develop the disease. Retinoblastoma can occur in one or both eyes.

Symptoms of retinoblastoma

Signs you may notice include:

– A white color in the middle circle of the eye (pupil) when light shines into the eye, z. B. when taking a flash photo – eyes that seem to look in different directions – eye redness, eye swelling.

It's best to make an appointment with your child's doctor when changes in the eyes are noticed. Retinoblastoma is a rare cancer, so the doctor will check for more common eye diseases first.

If there is a family history of retinoblastoma, ask the pediatrician when to start regular screenings.

How to treat?

There are several treatment options for retinoblastoma. The earlier you start treatment, the better. small tumors can be removed by laser, cryotherapy or brachytherapy. Also irradiation. Chemotherapy may be considered.

#3 Cataract (cataract)

Cataract is the clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. People with cataracts often compare seeing like this " It's a bit like looking through a fogged window."

Lens opacity can make it difficult to read, drive (especially at night) or recognize facial expressions. Cataracts usually develop slowly. Does not disturb the eyesight at the beginning. With light symptoms stronger lighting can. Glasses initially help.

If the everyday life is strongly impaired, however, the cataract should be operated on.

Signs and symptoms

– Blurred or hazy vision – Increased difficulty seeing at night – Sensitivity to light and glare – Need for brighter light for reading and other activities – "halos" seen around light sources – Frequent changes in prescription of glasses or contact lenses – Fading or yellowing of colors – Double vision in one eye

At first, the lens opacity affects only a small part of the lens of the eye. As the cataract grows larger, it clouds more of the lens and distorts the light passing through it. This can lead to more obvious symptoms.

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