Many vision issues are hereditary, which can add to the calculations families go through when deciding if and how to add to their family. For those of us who have minor vision issues in our family, it often just means that we need to be diligent about making sure that all of our children are monitored so that we can catch and treat any issues quickly. But for parents with more serious vision issues, the possibility of passing along those traits is much more difficult to face. In some cases, eye diseases can leave their children blind or with serious visual impairments.
A reader who is facing this situation recently wrote to me asking that I open a conversation about vision and genetics, especially for those who have learned that they carry hereditary visual diseases. She and her husband first learned that both of their children have a rare eye syndrome leaving them with a long list of associated vision issues. They then learned that both of them are carriers of a rare mutation that causes the syndrome. They are now pursuing IVF with PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis – embryos are tested for mutations before they are transferred to the mother) so that they can transfer only embryos that do not carry the mutation.
For those of you whose child’s eye problems are hereditary, how has that impacted your decisions to add to your family?