Here’s Why Your Family Eye Health Is Important

The importance of family eye healthBefore undergoing an eye exam or treatment for a vision problem or eye condition, your eye doctor will ask you several questions about your family’s eye health. This is because your genes play an important role in your own eye health. The eye experts at the vision practice of Dr. Kerry Solomon explain more in this blog post.

Eye Diseases and Your Genes

Research shows a number of serious eye diseases are genetically influenced, including macular degeneration. In addition, some infants are born with congenital cataracts, a rare form of the condition. Knowing your family’s history of eye disease can lead to early diagnosis and treatment. When treated in their early stages, some of these conditions are highly treatable and even correctable.

Several studies have found that genetics also play a role in the development of benign vision problems as well, including strabismus, amblyopia (lazy eye) and certain refractive errors (e.g., nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism). For this reason, parents are advised to have their children’s eyes examined early and regularly.

Eye Health Is Linked to Overall Health

A number of systemic diseases have been linked to eye health. These include diabetes, which can lead to vision problems such as cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. Individuals with a family history of diabetes have an increased risk of developing the disease and the vision problems that come with it.

Stay On Top of Your Eye Health

Although there is nothing that can be done about your genes, there are plenty of steps you can take to lower your risk of developing certain eye diseases. Eating a diet high in eye-friendly nutrients (e.g., lutein, zeaxanthin, omega fatty acids and vitamin C), not smoking and wearing sunglasses can minimize your risk of  developing cataracts and macular degeneration. Your eye doctor can give you additional recommendations after evaluating your eye health.

To schedule a comprehensive eye exam or discuss your vision needs, please contact the vision practice of Dr. Kerry Solomon. All routine eye exams are conducted by our board certified and experienced optometrist Dr. Jeffrey Hood. To contact us, please call our Charleston vision practice at (843) 881-3937.

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