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Do Children Inherit Poor Vision?

Question: Will my children inherit my bad eyesight?

Answer from: Dr. Linda Chous, O.D., eye care expert

Many eye conditions have strong genetic tendencies. That's why it's important for children to have regular comprehensive eye exams.

The comments shared by experts in Ask the Expert do not reflect UnitedHealthcare views nor benefit plans. It is general educational information only, is not intended as medical advice, and does not replace consultation with a doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional. Contact an appropriate health care professional with any questions and to determine what may be right for you. Check your health care benefit plan for specific coverage details.
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Meet Dr. Linda Chous, Eye Care Expert

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Answering your questions about eyes and vision

Dr. Linda Chous, chief eye care officer for UnitedHealthcare, has been running her own private practice for more than 20 years. She received her doctor of optometry degree with honors from the Southern California College of Optometry and is a licensed optometrist in Minnesota and California.

The comments shared by experts in Ask the Expert do not reflect UnitedHealthcare views nor benefit plans. It is general educational information only, is not intended as medical advice, and does not replace consultation with a doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional. Contact an appropriate health care professional with any questions and to determine what may be right for you. Check your health care benefit plan for specific coverage details.
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The comments shared by experts in Ask the Expert do not reflect UnitedHealthcare views nor benefit plans. It is general educational information only, is not intended as medical advice, and does not replace consultation with a doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional. Contact an appropriate health care professional with any questions and to determine what may be right for you. Check your health care benefit plan for specific coverage details.
Transcript

This viewer asks will my children inherit my bad eyesight. Well there are very strong genetic tendencies with a lot of eye conditions like near-sightedness and far-sightedness, lazy eye, astigmatism, but the best thing that you can do is to have your child’s eyes examined to see if there are any conditions there or if there’s any tendencies for those conditions to occur later on. Certainly if mom had glasses at age eight for near-sightedness and now if her son needs glasses at age eight you can probably pretty much predict that the son’s eyes are going to be as bad as the mom’s eventually. But there are ways that the doctor can look at even tiny babies’ eyes and the eye doctor can do a comprehensive eye exam even on babies as little as three months of age. But we decide that, actually it’s the American Optometric Association that has recommended that babies have their eyes examined by the age of twelve months. So somewhere between the age of six to twelve months is a good time for your baby to have their first eye exam and certainly if there’s any problems that you’re noticing even before that like if there’s a crust eye or something that you’re concerned about, we can look at little tiny infants to see if there’s any problems. Certainly we also want to check them before they start school to see if there are any existing eye problems or any tendencies for eye problems in the future so that you can be forewarned.