Many eye diseases are hereditary and some appear congenital, from birth, while others can develop throughout our lives and significantly compromise visual health. Hereditary eye diseases have their origin in chromosomal abnormalities and the most common include retinal dystrophies, malformations, glaucoma, congenital cataracts, strabismus and color blindness.

En Área Oftalmológica Avanzada we are specialists in ocular medicine and pediatric ophthalmology, so we explain in detail what are the most common hereditary eye diseases.

hereditary eye diseases

Hereditary eye diseases

Retinal dystrophies

Our retinal dystrophies are several conditions that cause progressive degeneration of the photoreceptor cells known as rods and cones. There are different retinal dystrophies, but the retinitis pigmentosa It is the most common of all. This disease affects stick cells more, responsible for peripheral vision and optimal vision in dark spaces, although it can also intervene in the functioning of cone cells.

Congenital glaucoma

El glaucoma is an important disease that occurs when the increase in Intraocular pressure begins to progressively injure the optic nerve. He congenital glaucoma it is very rare and has a genetic load of between 30% and 50% of the cases.

congenital cataracts

Our Cataracts are the opacity of crystalline and these usually begin to suffer during the third age when they begin to cause blurred vision. The advance of the falls is progressive; However, when visual sharpness is very compromised, it is recommended to operate to remove the lens and place an intraocular lens. In 40% of cases of congenital cataracts They are due to genetic causes and must be treated during the first six months of life.

Congenital strabismus

Few people know that the squint is one of the most common hereditary eye diseases, when it is the case, it is known as hereditary strabismus. In fact, when there is a family history of misaligned eyes it is important to subject the newborn to a complete ophthalmic exam. Child strabismus may appear during childhood and affects 4% of the world's population of children.


Myopia is the most common refractive error and is also one of the most common inherited eye conditions. When a person has myopia It is due to the fact that his eye is very large and this causes a deformity in the cornea. The myopia in children It usually occurs during the first six years of age and causes difficulty in correctly seeing long-distance objects. Myopia can be treated definitively through the laser myopia operation from the age of 18.

Colour blindness

El colorblindness it is a genetic alteration associated with the X chromosome that causes the inability to observe colors in their true tone. This condition is caused by the malfunction of the cone cells of the retina, which are responsible for differentiating the colors red, green and blue.

What other diseases are hereditary?

There are other hereditary pathologies that, although not associated with the ocular structure, can significantly affect visual health. Among them the most important are diabetes and albinism.

Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy

La diabetes It is a hereditary and degenerative disease caused by the deficit of insulin production or by an inappropriate use of this hormone in the body. Insulin is the substance responsible for controlling blood glucose levels. People with diabetes should control their diet and be treated medically to keep the disease on the sidelines and avoid complications of the disease.

Among the consequences of poorly controlled diabetes highlights the Diabetic retinopathy. This disease occurs when the blood vessels of the retina deteriorate due to constant increases in blood glucose or for many years suffering from diabetes. The Diabetic retinopathy It is the leading cause of blindness in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.


El albinism It is a hereditary disease caused by the deficiency of the human body to produce melanin, a substance responsible for skin pigmentation. This disease occurs when genetic defects slow the production of melanin or when they prevent its proper transport within the body.

People with albinism are more prone to strabismus, photophobia y Sight loss. In addition, there is a very strange type of albinism that is known by the name of ocular albinism type 1 (OA1). This disease only affects the eyes due to the absence of retinal pigmentation.

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hereditary eye diseases
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hereditary eye diseases
Find out what hereditary eye diseases exist and discover what you can or can not transmit to your descendants or what you can suffer.
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Área Oftalmológica Avanzada
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