How much does genetic inheritance have a bearing on glaucoma?

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It is an important factor in glaucoma, although the genetic bases of the disorder are heterogeneous: there are some cases of direct transmission from generation to generation (such as congenital glaucoma) and other cases of complex inheritance (e.g. pseudoexfoliation glaucoma) where a higher percentage of sufferers in the same family than the population average is observed. In both circumstances, genetic studies provide the opportunity to detect possible future cases of glaucoma. 

While genetic research continues to progress to increase knowledge in this field, it is important for patients with a family history of glaucoma to be aware of the greater risk they are at to suffer the disease. It is therefore recommendable for people with sufferers of glaucoma in their family (parents, siblings and/or children) to take annual ophthalmological controls from the age of 40 at the very latest. 

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