Know Your History: 4 Hereditary Eye Issues to be Aware of


Eye problems that are the most common in the U.S. are those that are often handed on from one generation to the next. As there are more than 350 eye conditions known to be hereditary, it is important to get to know your family history to make sure you are aware of the reasons why you may be facing eye issues in the future.

Understanding these personal risks in your eye health will allow you to prevent them and understand what steps you can take to potentially treat them in the future. The following are some of the most common hereditary eye issues to be aware of.



One of the most common hereditary eye issues in the world is glaucoma, a problem caused by too much pressure in the eye with fluid building up in the eye. Glaucoma is an eye condition to be aware of as the problem can be hereditary in the form of primary glaucoma that can cause blindness in those who are not treated by a trained medical professional.

The loss of vision is usually focused on the peripheral vision that causes the vision to take the look of a tunnel and is often treated with eye drops and surgery to repair the damage. Glaucoma can cause serious eye damage if it goes too long without being detected. Make sure you are getting your annual eye exams to catch early symptoms.


This is a common problem for the parents of many children to face and is characterized by the issue of the eyes failing to focus on the same spot. Although strabismus can be caused by disease or injury, it is most commonly an inherited condition passed on through the genetic makeup of the parents or grandparents of an individual.

The main symptoms of strabismus are the muscles of the eyes being too weak to focus on the same spot at the same time. If you have a child who is showing signs of this, do a little research to see if any of your family members suffer from this disease. If so, chances are likely it is what your child is suffering from.

Color Blindness

Some color blindness issues have been linked to genetic problems including color blindness which is characterized by the inability to distinguish between different colors. The most common issues with color blindness are the problems of not identifying the different colors and handling these issues in your everyday life. There remains no known cure for color blindness although some advances have been made with the use of lenses for the correction of the issue.

Retinitis Pigmentosa

Although not as common as the other eye issues on the list, retinitis pigmentosa is a hereditary condition that has no known cure or common treatment. One of the best-known aspects of this degenerative eye condition is the slow degrading of the vision that usually begins with worsening night vision. Some medical professionals have been studying the effects of vitamin consumption on retinitis pigmentosa finding an increase in vitamin a can slow its progression and vitamin E speeds its acceleration.

Although your risk might be higher for certain eye diseases if they are present in your family history, there are ways to prevent and even treat them. Nowadays we have a better knowledge of nutrition and the role it can play on all areas of your health. We also have Lasik surgery and other procedures to reverse any eye site deterioration. Don’t feel doomed if you are at risk for an eye issue. Remember to take charge of your eye health and get regular checkups.