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Do You Know Your Family’s Eye Health History?

Most people recognize the importance of knowing their family medical history. But, do you know that you should also be aware of your family’s eye health history?

There are some eye ailments that you are more likely to suffer from if you have had a family member with the condition. Some conditions that are influenced by family history are glaucoma, myopia, hyperopia, macular degeneration and astigmatism.

Keep reading to learn more about these eye conditions and how they’re connected to your family’s eye health.


Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. It is the building up of pressure inside the eye, and this pressure damages the optic nerves.

Glaucoma must be diagnosed by an eye doctor. There are medical treatments for glaucoma, but there are also steps you can take yourself to treat and help prevent it.

One of the ways you can work at preventing glaucoma naturally is by eating a healthy diet. A diet that is rich in vitamins A, C and E and zinc is definitely a step in the right direction. Some foods you should try to add to your diet are oranges, strawberries, broccoli, eggs, and spinach.

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

Myopia is a condition in which a person can see clearly up close, but cannot see clearly at a distance. It often results in the person squinting to see objects far away. Myopia can be caused by the way people use their eyes, but some people are more likely to suffer from it if they have a family member that has also had it.

There are different ways a person can address myopia naturally. One is by resting your eyes. Many people who suffer from myopia sit in front of a computer several hours a day or they spend hours pouring over fine print.

Digital eye strain can also lead to myopia, so that makes taking breaks especially important. You need to break up that close work with frequent eye resting periods. Just look away from the screen and try focusing on something in the distance every now and then.

Another way to address myopia naturally is through diet. Eating a diet high in vitamin and mineral content will help your body naturally heal your eyes.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

Another eye condition that can affect you based on genetics is hyperopia. It often results in people who have to work their eyes harder to see objects at distances near and far. To correct farsightedness naturally, follow most of the same methods as myopia.

Just like with myopia, a person should rest their eyes, watch their diet and take supplements to ensure proper dietary intake of the correct vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements. They should also implement eye exercises to strengthen their eyes.

Eye exercises are easy to do and can really do wonders to strengthen the muscles around your eye. Adding eye exercises to your daily work out regimen is a great step to preserving your vision.

One step that is different for helping with hyperopia is blinking. Yes, blinking! You may be thinking ‘but I blink all the time’. Without realizing it, most people reduce the number of times they blink per minute when they are working on computers. Make a conscious effort to increase the number of times you blink.

Placing a note on your computer may help remind you. Or, set a timer for 20 minutes and spend a solid minute blinking when it goes off. This will refresh your eyes and help fend off hyperopia.

Macular Degeneration

The eye condition macular degeneration, which means the macula degenerates and decreases the ability to see clearly, is more common among people over the age of 50. However, macular degeneration is starting to show up earlier in life. Also, everyone who has a family history of macular degeneration is at a greater risk of developing it. Another risk factor that increases a person’s risk for macular degeneration is smoking, or even just living with a smoker.

To prevent macular degeneration, the most effective natural method is dietary changes to include more vitamins and minerals. Adding antioxidants to your diet is the best way to prevent macular degeneration from occurring.


Astigmatism comes in two forms: one is hereditary, while the other one develops from damage to the eye. This eye condition is the irregular shape of the cornea which results in blurry vision.  Both types can be helped without requiring a person to get corrective lenses or surgery.

Both types of astigmatism can be helped through the reduction of stress on the eye. This means giving your eyes a break from work. Astigmatism can also be helped through an improved diet full of vitamins and minerals.

Check with your family members to see if you are predisposed to any of these eye conditions. If it turns out there’s a history of disease in your family’s eye health, starting a program and diet to strengthen your eyes could help prevent you from developing the conditions. You can even slow the progress of the conditions if you start early enough.

This post originally appeared on Rebuild Your Vision.


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