Family history and eye health

Some eye problems have a family link and can be passed through generations. For example, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) often run in families.

People with a family history of AMD are four times more likely to develop the disease. People with parents or siblings with glaucoma have an eight-fold increased risk of developing the condition. People with a family history of eye conditions such as glaucoma and AMD should have regular eye tests to detect eye disease early.

The earlier a problem is picked up, the better it can be treated. In Australia, 90 per cent of vision loss is preventable or treatable.

If you are diagnosed with an eye condition, talk to your relatives, especially parents, children and siblings about their risk. Encourage them to have regular eye tests.

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