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Inheritable eye conditions are eye diseases that can be passed down from parents to children through genes. They can affect different parts of the eye, such as the retina, the lens, the cornea, or the optic nerve, and cause various degrees of vision loss or impairment. Some inheritable eye conditions are present at birth, while others develop later in life.

It is important to note that vision loss and eye diseases can affect multiple generations of a family. Researchers have identified certain genes as responsible for eye diseases, such as ‘retinitis pigmentosa’ and ‘x-linked retinoschisis’. Vision loss because of inherited eye disease could start at any life stage, from infancy through adulthood.

Some of the most common inheritable eye conditions are:


This is a condition that damages the optic nerve due to high pressure inside the eye. It can lead to blindness if left untreated. Glaucoma can be inherited in different ways, depending on the type and age of onset.


This is an eye condition that causes clouding of the lens, which affects the clarity of vision. Cataracts can be present at birth or develop later in life due to ageing or other factors. Some forms of cataracts are inherited in such a way that one copy of the mutated gene is enough to cause the disease.

Retinal degeneration:

This is a group of diseases that affect the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye. They cause progressive loss of vision, especially in the peripheral and night vision. Some examples are ‘achromatopsia’, ‘Bardet-Biedl syndrome’, ‘Best disease’, ‘Stargardt disease’ and ‘Usher syndrome’.

Eye malformations:

This is a group of diseases that affect the development and structure of the eye or its parts. They can cause reduced vision or blindness, as well as other problems such as strabismus (crossed eyes), nystagmus (involuntary eye movements) or aniridia (absence of iris). Some examples are ‘anophthalmia’ (absence of eye), ‘coloboma’ (gap in eye structure), ‘microphthalmia’ (small eye) and ‘optic nerve hypoplasia’ (underdeveloped optic nerve).

A thorough eye exam, medical, and genetic histories, and genetic testing can diagnose inherited eye diseases. The treatment options vary depending on the type and severity of the disease. Some mild forms may require no intervention or corrective lenses, while others may need medication, surgery, or gene therapy. Early diagnosis and treatment can help preserve vision and prevent complications. Contact us today for more information on inheritable eye diseases.