Overview of the Genetic & Hereditary Eye Disorders Service
Genetic and hereditary eye disorders are eye conditions that are passed down through families. The Eye Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is one of the few centers in the world with an on-site ocular geneticist, who is best qualified to make the correct diagnoses for this group of disorders.
What We Treat
Genetic and hereditary eye disorders can affect all parts of the eye, including the eyelids, extraocular muscles, cornea, lens, vitreous, retina, and optic nerve.
These disorders include but are not limited to:
- Albinism: Albinism of the eyes causes reduced pigment in the iris (the colored part of the eye), which is necessary for clear vision.
- Aniridia: Aniridia is characterized by the absence of the iris.
- Corneal dystrophy: This group of diseases results in the buildup of deposits in the cornea (the clear, outer layer of the eyeball).
- Pediatric cataract: A cataract is a cloudiness in the eye’s lens that can cause blurred vision or even vision loss. When a cataract occurs in a child, this is referred to as pediatric cataract.
- Pediatric glaucoma: Glaucoma is a buildup of pressure in the eye that can cause damage to the optic nerve and lead to vision loss. When glaucoma occurs in a child, this is referred to as pediatric glaucoma.
- Retinal dystrophy: Retinal dystrophy is the common term given to a group of hereditary diseases that affect the retina (the tissue that lines the back of eye and is responsible for turning light into signals that then go to the brain).
- Optic neuropathy: Optic neuropathy is characterized by damage to the optic nerve (the nerve located in the back of the eye that transmits information from the eye to the brain).
- Congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles: Also referred to as CFEOM, this rare genetic disorder affects the muscles that move the eyes.
As there is a broad spectrum in this group of disorders, recommendations and treatment options for the patient are dependent on the diagnosis determined through the examination.
Diagnosis & Treatment of Genetic & Hereditary Eye Disorders
Diagnosis of Genetic & Hereditary Eye Disorders
An important component in the assessment of genetic and hereditary eye disorders is establishing a detailed medical history. Then, the physician performs a comprehensive ophthalmic examination which can last two hours or longer. Depending on the findings, genetic testing may be ordered.
Treatment of Genetic & Hereditary Eye Disorders
Once a diagnosis has been made, patients are offered treatment specific to the disorder. Genetic counseling is also offered to help patients understand the risks of family members acquiring the disease.
With any eye procedure, patients need to arrange for assistance with transportation home after diagnostic testing and treatment. Public transportation and taxi information can be found on Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s How to Get Here page.
Genetic & Hereditary Eye Disorders Caregivers
At the Genetic & Hereditary Eye Disorders clinic at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Eye Institute, a multidisciplinary team works together to provide Patients First care to individuals with genetic and hereditary eye disorders.
Caregivers involved in patient care for this service are:
- Ocular geneticist
- Specialized nurses
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