Are Dry Eyes Hereditary?

Are Dry Eyes Hereditary?

Are Dry Eyes Hereditary?

Are Dry Eyes Hereditary?

The Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society confirms that many people suffer from dry eye syndrome without even knowing why they have it. Several factors can lead to its onset. One is heredity. Scientists have discovered the role that genes play in the development of dry eye syndrome. Here are the details to consider about dry eyes being hereditary.


The Role of Genetics

Studies show a link between genetics and dry eye syndrome. It is possible to inherit this eye condition from your grandparents and parents. Your eye doctor will need your family’s eye health history. Because of the role of genes in getting dry eye, ethnicity is also a factor. Hispanics and Asians seem to develop many eye diseases and must come in for regular testing. 


The Gene

Knowing the genetic factors of this disease can lead to its pathogenesis and effective treatment. Studies reveal a connection between dry eye and postsurgical inflammation and THBS1 or thrombospondin 1. Patients with dry eye syndrome are likely to carry THBS1’s minor allele, SNP1.

Scientists have difficulty in phenotyping dry eye syndrome. Thus far, they have proven that genes have moderate importance in this multifactorial eye condition. There is about 30 percent hereditability for dry eye symptoms. Hereditability for certain signs is 25 to 80 percent.


The Genetic Variants

Genetic variants are connected to an increased risk of dry eye syndrome. Note that these variants do not cause this eye condition. Instead, they make you more vulnerable to dry eye syndrome. That is why understanding how susceptible you are may help you find the lifestyle or supplement that can help you. Here are the genetic variants for dry eye syndrome:


  • The PTPN22 gene controls the immune system. This happens by affecting B cell auto-reactivity and T cell activation. This increases your risk of dry eye syndrome.

  • The IL-1B gene is connected to many autoimmune diseases. It may increase your risk for dry eye syndrome because the tears evaporate right away.

  • The VDR gene is a receptor for vitamin D.

  • The TRPM8 gene is the menthol and cold receptor gene. It triggers blinking when tears evaporate too quickly. It also senses cold.

  • The MUC1 gene triggers mucin that helps protect the eyes from different pathogens. The expression of this gene is low in people with dry eye syndrome.

  • The THBS1 gene produces a glycoprotein valuable in blood vessel formation and cell-to-cell adhesion.


Living with Dry Eye Syndrome

You can talk to your eye doctor at White Plains Eye Care if you have any issues with dry eye symptoms. This eye condition can be debilitating, but you can improve your situation by sticking to certain practices. Here are some of them:


  • Wear an eye mask at night

  • Take a break from electronic devices and screens

  • Do not use supplements that cause dry eye syndrome

  • Avoid secondhand smoke, and quit smoking

  • Use a humidifier in your living or work area

  • Stay hydrated

  • Use lubricating eye drops

  • Protect your eyes from the wind

Years of research have finally determined that genes can cause dry eye syndrome. At White Plains Eye Care, we work with our patients by providing them with quality eye care solutions that meet their needs. Visit our clinic in White Plains, New York, for a one-on-one consultation. Call 914-732-1732 to set an appointment or ask about our dry eye treatment packages.

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