IS GLAUCOMA HEREDITARY
What comes to mind when we hear the word “Heredity”?
Heredity which is also known as biological inheritance is the passing on of traits from parents to their offspring. Genetics on the other hand is the scientific study of genes and heredity, of how certain qualities or traits are passed from parents to offspring because of changes in DNA sequence. Certain disease conditions have been seen to have occurred and transmitted from one generation to the other in a family. Some of these hereditary diseases include.
- Heart disease
- Primary open-angle glaucoma etc.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve. It usually occurs when fluids build up in the front part of the eye. Glaucoma is mainly divided into two types.
- Open-angle glaucoma
- Angle-closure glaucoma.
Open-angle glaucoma, which is the commonest type of glaucoma happens when the eye does not drain fluid out as well as it should (like a clogged drain), and as a result eye pressure builds up and start to damage the optic nerve.
Whereas Angle-closure glaucoma occurs when the iris of an individual is very close to the drainage angle in the eye thereby blocking it. This usually leads to a quick rise in eye pressure known as an “acute attack”.
There are many possible causes of glaucoma, and anyone can develop it, however, an existing family history of glaucoma increases the risk of developing it by four to nine times chance. Primary open-angle glaucoma is “Hereditary”, and researchers/scientists have identified at least 16 genes that cause it.
In summary, it is very important for people with a family history of glaucoma to do routine glaucoma tests which include intraocular pressure measurements, Central visual field tests and Optical coherence tomography tests.
Glaucoma can also occur idiopathically that is without any known cause which is why it is also recommended to do a routine eye checkup yearly for proper eye health care.