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Why Knowing Your Family's Eye Health History Is Important

By Gordon Wong, OD on July 09, 2018


Family wearing glassesAt Gordon Wong Eye Designs & Optometry, we offer a comprehensive range of vision care services to provide patients with clear eyesight. However, our experienced eye doctors go beyond just treating vision impairment.

Our goal is to help patients understand their eye health, anticipate potential areas of concern, and provide early treatment for any eye health problems that may develop. By taking this proactive approach to eye health, we allow our patients to enjoy healthy eyes and clear eyesight throughout their lifetime.

One of the ways we are able to provide this degree of care is by collecting information regarding patients’ health history, as well as the health history of those in their family. Here we discuss why knowing your family’s eye health history is important, and how our La Jolla, CA eye doctors are able to use this information to preserve your eye health.

Hereditary Eye Diseases

Most people look into their family’s general health history because they know it can provide important information regarding potential areas of health concern. However, few people think to ask about their relatives’ eye health.

Just like many diseases that affect the body, numerous eye diseases have genetic links, meaning that if there is a history of the disease in the family, you are at an increased risk of getting the condition yourself.

Some of the most common hereditary eye diseases include the following:

  • Glaucoma
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Optic atrophy
  • Retinitis pigmentosa

In all, there are more than 350 hereditary eye diseases. Even basic refractive errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism may be genetically determined. These genetic links extend beyond just a person’s parents. To get a comprehensive understanding of a family’s eye health history, individuals should speak to parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents.

What to Do with This Information

Having your family’s eye health history won’t do much good if it is not used properly. The best way to take advantage of this information and ensure it is used to preserve your own eye health is by discussing it with an experienced eye doctor, such as those at Gordon Wong Eye Designs & Optometry.

Our doctors will tailor eye care services based on the unique needs of each patient, which is determined largely by eye health history. We will use family eye health history to make recommendations regarding the frequency of comprehensive eye exams.

We will also use this information as guideposts for what eye diseases and conditions should be of particular concern. Since many eye diseases do not produce noticeable symptoms until they have reached their advanced stages, this type of information can be vital in the early diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases.

Ultimately, knowing your family’s eye health history can play a key role in preserving eye health and vision.

Contact Us

At Gordon Wong Eye Designs & Optometry, patients will find the eye care services they need to preserve their eye health and maintain clear vision. If you are interested in learning more about these services or would like to set up a comprehensive eye exam, contact us at your earliest convenience.

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Dr. Wong and his staff have proven to be the best eye doctor that I have ever visited. He is extremely thorough and up-to-date professionally. He gives you plenty of time. I never feel rushed.

Kathrine Holladay

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