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Family History of Eye Disease is Important

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Glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts can be genetically linked.  If someone in your family has glaucoma, you are four to nine times more likely to have glaucoma.  Glaucoma is a disease that causes damage to your peripheral vision and eventually can affect your central vision if left untreated.  A great place to ask about these conditions is at a family reunion.  Also, be sure to tell family members if you have an eye disease. 

If you are in your 60 and older, you are at risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.  Cataracts and macular degeneration causes central vision to be cloudy gradually.  Both conditions cause painless loss of vision so it is difficult to tell the difference between the two.  However, macular degeneration causes irreversible damage to the retina and can severely distort and impair vision if left untreated.  Smoking causes an increase risk of cataracts and macular degeneration so it is important to stop smoking as soon as possible. 

Research also shows that refractive conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism can also be genetic.  Therefore, it is important to have children examined as early as 6-months of age to correct for these conditions.  Vision and learning is important to development and it is directly related to success in the classroom.

Schedule your eye examination today at the Optometric Center and Eyewear Galleria.  Please call 925-743-1222.


Written by Dr. Michael Duong

Dr. Duong received his bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry at San Jose State University. He then attended Pennsylvania College of Optometry and received his Doctor of Optometry in 2009.
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