Genetic Testing in Calgary

Our understanding of human genetics is greater today than ever before. It can now be used to determine a number of things, from our ancestry to our risk for certain health conditions. One use of it in optometry is our risk for developing certain eye diseases, such as macular degeneration. At Premier Eye Care, we offer genetic testing to our patients in Calgary, AB to improve the accuracy of diagnoses and prognoses.

Why perform genetic testing?

Genetic testing can be beneficial for:

  • Excluding disease
  • Ruling in or out closely-related disorders
  • Identifying and testing other family members who may also be affected
  • Simply providing an answer for patients who “just want to know” regardless of potential therapies

Additionally, performing a genetic test can give you and your doctor a better idea of what supplements are actually beneficial to your health. While it is best to get most of our nutrients from food sources, such as eating carrots instead of taking vitamin A supplements, this may be easier said than done. Having an understanding of your genetic makeup lets you know which nutrients you need most.

How is it performed?

A genetic test is usually non-invasive. To perform genetic testing, a swab will be taken of the inside of your cheek. This sample will be sent to a genetic laboratory for DNA testing. It may take a few weeks to get the results back, at which point your doctor will discuss the findings with you, whether any issues were detected or not.

Currently, it is looking as if diagnosis at the molecular level (genetic testing) will become standard of care. There is even the potential for gene therapy to be a treatment for curing or restoring substantial sight to those with a hereditary eye disease. It should be noted that there can be adverse effects, namely that you may learn something from your test results that may not necessarily be considered good news. In any case, your doctor will be able to discuss results and possible treatment options.

If you are interested in learning your risk for specific eye diseases, talk to your doctor at Premier Eye Care about genetic testing. We are proud to provide this service for the community of Calgary, AB.

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