There are many factors that play an important role in determining overall eye health. Genetics is one of the most significant ones. Many eye diseases, including those that cause blindness among infants, children and adults, are inherited. In some cases, early diagnosis and effective treatment for inherited eye disorders can help prevent the conditions from worsening. Therefore, it is important to know about these conditions. We have some of the best eye specialists in Kolkata. These eye specialists will answer some of the frequently asked questions on inherited and genetic eye diseases
Question 1: What eye problems are genetic?
There are over 350 eye diseases that are genetic. A genetic eye disorder occurs when a child inherits a disease from one or both patients. Some of the genetic eye disorders are:
- Congenital cataracts
- Congenital glaucoma
- Retinal degeneration
- Colour blindness
- Corneal dystrophies
Note: In adults, glaucoma and macular degeneration are among the leading causes of blindness. Both seem to be hereditary.
Question 2: Can common vision problems be inherited?
Yes, common refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism are also inherited. The risk of developing these conditions is higher if both the parents have the eye disorder. Strabismus and amblyopia can also be inherited.
Question 3: Can genetic eye disorders be cured?
Early diagnosis and effective treatment of inherited eye disorders can help prevent the worsening of vision. For instance, congenital cataracts can be treated by removal as soon after the diagnosis. The surgery can be performed on an infant as young as 6 to 8 weeks.
Question 4: What are the symptoms of inherited eye diseases?
Symptoms vary depending on the type of eye disease. Some of the general symptoms include:
- Abnormal appearance
- Fluid in eyes
- Impaired vision
Question 5: How can genetic eye problems be diagnosed?
The best way to protect a baby’s eyes from congenital or hereditary eye disease is through regular eye examinations. Certain eye diseases are present at the time of birth while some develop shortly thereafter. Therefore, it is important that the baby’s eyes are regularly examined by an ophthalmologist or paediatric ophthalmologist. When diagnosed early, the chances of treatment can be better and the impact of the disease can be minimised.
Looking for the best eye specialist in Kolkata for children?
We, at Disha Eye Hospitals, have a dedicated Paediatric Ophthalmology unit with some of the best eye specialists in Kolkata on board. We conduct various eye tests for infants, toddlers, pre-school children and verbal children. We work closely with parents and children to integrate ophthalmologic treatment into the patient’s total care plan.
Question 6: What to expect during the evaluation?
The paediatric ophthalmologist or eye doctor will completely review the test results. The parents will be asked about their family medical history, with particular attention given to signs and symptoms of genetic disorders. The child will have to undergo a comprehensive eye checkup. For this, the pupils will be dilated. Some of the common tests for diagnosing genetic eye disorders are:
- Visual evoked potential testing
- Optical coherence tomography
- Fundus autofluorescence
- Visual fields
Note: Additional tests may be recommended depending on the symptoms.