Most people overlook the fact that a family history of eye disease is important to ocular health. It is a must to ask and know if anyone in your family has or had an eye disease. Eye diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts can be genetic. If you have a family member who has glaucoma, it makes you four to nine times more likely to be struck by the disease.
Some eye conditions can cause irreversible blindness if it is left untreated. Make sure to share your family history of eye diseases with your ophthalmologist. The earlier you know that information, the better to know your risk. Family reunions will always be part of the year. You can easily ask your relatives if anyone in the family has glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, or any other eye diseases. If you do have one, make sure to tell your family members for them to be aware.
What Should I Do if I Have a Family History of Eye Disease?
Now that you are aware that your family has a history of eye disease, now is the time for you to schedule an eye exam. It is very important to talk to your ophthalmologist about that history. Do not undergo genetic testing for eye disease. Make sure that you have discussed it first with your doctor. In this way, you are collaborating with your doctor to take the appropriate preventive steps to minimize your risk and preserve your eyesight.
Even if you do not notice or feel any symptoms of eye diseases, you must still have regular checkups. This is because most eye diseases have no symptoms in the early stages including glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. Visiting an ophthalmologist will help detect any potential problems before they get serious.
What Are the Preventive Measures to Keep Eyes Healthy?
● If you are 65 and older and you have a family history, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, especially dark and leafy greens are important to keep your eyes healthy.
● A healthy weight should be maintained.
● When being exposed to the elements, make sure that you have your protective eyewear.
● Take breaks if you are spending a lot of time at the computer to reduce developing eye strain.
● Limit the screen time of your children on digital devices because it can cause vision problems.
● Make sure to have enough sleep because eye dryness and irritation may occur if you have less than five hours of sleep at night.