Many people believe that a child is likely to inherit an astigmatism gene if either one of their parents has this corneal shape irregularity. Children with parents with rugby-ball corneal shape are said to experience blurry visions either in their childhood or later in life.
Theories about astigmatism occurrence
Children are able to be observed for astigmatism in the age of 6 months, wherein their vision ability is widely employed. Astigmatism is measured in diopters, and more than one 1 diopter commonly requires correction with glasses or contact lenses. There are two main theories about how astigmatism occurs in individuals. The theory that this disorder is genetic and thus, hereditary has been widely spread. Therefore, children whose parents with astigmatism are likely to undergo similar eye condition, although some others with astigmatism-free parents may also suffer from this eye disorder. The other theory is that astigmatism develops as a result of external risk factors rather than being hereditary. In fact, these two theories are still debated in numerous reviews and research.
How likely is it to be genetic?
Although the two theories are still debated widely, the thought that astigmatism is genetic and hereditary is accepted by the majority of people. Some research even show that the disorder lies within the chromosome Y, which makes it hereditary mostly for boys, while girls are usually being the carrier and pass it on to the boys in their next generation. However, this hereditary risk factor of astigmatism is kind of arbitrary, although this is assumed as the most possible risk factor for this corneal problem. More recent experts believe that astigmatism is an isolated gene. It means, this eye disorder that causes corneal shape irregularity can be either inherited or passed on. Whether this eye disorder affects more boys than girls or vice versa is also still unclear. Some families, however, have the inherited pattern of astigmatism, making some persons of each generation experience the abnormal shape of the cornea that leads to blurry visions.
Due to this irregularity of the occurrence and causal factor of astigmatism, people diagnosed with this corneal disorder are often surprised, do not have any idea where and how this eye disorder started and where they get it from. However, it is very important to know that astigmatism is not an eye disease that someone catches. This is a refractive error—a condition related to the shape and size of your cornea which leads to blurry vision. Although it is often not known as to when and how astigmatism in an individual started, this problem is going to develop into a more severe stage when left untreated.
In contrast with being genetic, some cases of astigmatism occur as a result of injuries to the eye. These injuries give excessive force to the eye, causing slanted difference in the position, shape, or size of the cornea. When the sphere-shaped cornea changes, the light rays from outside may not be positioned right on the cornea. Instead, they fall behind or in front of this part of the eye.
Can it be avoided?
Since it is not easy to determine what the exact cause of astigmatism is, it is also quite difficult to avoid this eye disorder from occurring. Many children are told to consume carrots and other nutrient-rich vegetables to prevent astigmatism from occurring, which in fact, is not one hundred percent correct. As an arbitrary disorder of the corneal shape, astigmatism is not avoidable. As a matter of fact, many people suffering from it are surprised as to how the problem develops, considering they do not have any eye problems previously. However, if you have already been diagnosed with astigmatism, you can do some things that are helpful in inhibiting its significant progress. Avoiding reading with low light, taking some break intervals while working with computers, keeping your body hydrated, consume nutritional foods, and do regular exercises are some of these effective methods for preventing existing astigmatism from spreading quickly. In children, it is very important to have their eyes checked before pre-school ages, in order to see whether or not they develop astigmatism, as initial treatments to this disorder also helps preventing it from getting worse significantly.