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"Why do people get eye diseases?"


A couple of the older folks on my dad's side of the family have had eye disease or eye conditions. Is this just a hereditary thing or is there something that they did to cause there eye diseases?


It is difficult to answer this question specifically without knowing a bit more about what exact diseases your relatives have. There are, of course, many different eye conditions that are associated just with age and that tend to develop over time as we get older. However, some of these conditions also do have a strong genetic component.

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For example, both glaucoma and macular degeneration, two disease that tend to develop in the elderly, have at least a partial genetic component. The best way to protect yourself against eye disease is to have regular checkups with your eye doctor. In fact, for most adults, it is recommended that you have a basic eye examination on a yearly basic, regardless of whether or not you have any symptoms or have any corrective vision needs. At this visit, an eye doctor will screen you for all of the common eye diseases, including glaucoma and macular degeneration. If you have not had an eye exam in a while, your doctor will most likely want to dilate your eyes at least once so that they can get a good look at the back surface of your eye, which is where many diseases show up initially.

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