ZocdocAnswersWhat are the odds of getting retinoschisis?

Question

What are the odds of getting retinoschisis?

The older of my two sons just developed retinoschis, and I'm worried about what this means for the other one. What are the odds that he will get it too? Are there steps we can take to help prevent it from developing?

Answer

Retinoschisis is a medical term that refers to a condition in which the retina (the light sensing layer of the eye) splits into two separate layers. Retinoschisis can cause both general blurry vision as well as loss of peripheral vision, and it is a risk factor for retinal detachment. Although there are several different types of retinoschisis, it sounds like the type of retinoschisis you are dealing with, assuming your son is still a child, is hereditary retinoschisis. Hereditary retinoschisis is a genetic form of retinoschisis that is X-linked. X-linked means that it is passed down on the mother's female (X) chromosome. The mother and any female children are carriers of the genetic defect but they do not have symptoms themselves. However, every male child will be affected. In other words, if you are in fact dealing with hereditary retinoschisis, then there is essentially a 100% chance that your other son is also affected. Unfortunately, since this is a genetic disease, there is nothing that can be done to prevent it from developing. Regular eye examinations by your eye doctor are important to make sure that vision is corrected with eyewear and to be on the lookout for any complications, such as retinal detachment.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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