Hereditary eye diseases

eye disease

Eye disease and your family

Vision problems can be hereditary. Make sure you understand the conditions that may run in the family.

Hereditary eye diseases

Some eye diseases can be genetic. Early detection is vital, so it’s good to have an idea of your family’s health history. There are several eye conditions that can run in the family, some of which are more likely to occur than others. Three of the most common problems are explained below.


Age-related macular degeneration mostly affects people when they reach their 60s.  AMD impacts your ability to see objects clearly and sharply. There is not cure for AMD but there are treatment options to help manage the condition. The sooner it is diagnosed, the better the outcome, so if you have a history of the disease in your family, make sure you visit your optician.


Glaucoma occurs when fluid pressure build up in the eye. Symptoms include cloudy vision and sensitivity to light. If left untreated, glaucoma can deteriorate and lead to ‘tunnel vision’, which is like looking through a long tube and is irreversible. Treatments for glaucoma include eye drops and laser treatment.


Cataracts are cloudy areas that develop on the lens of the eye, leading to blurred or hazy vision.  Some babies are born with cataracts, which can worsen with age. In many countries, babies have their eyes checked at birth. If you are concerned about your baby’s vision, speak to your doctor or optician.

Did You Know?

Cataract Surgery

Cataract removal is the most common surgical procedure in the developed world. The operation takes just 15 minutes. The procedure typically is performed on an outpatient basis and does not require an overnight stay in a hospital or other care facility. Most modern cataract procedures involve the use of a high-frequency ultrasound device that breaks up the cloudy lens into small pieces, which are then gently removed from the eye with suction.