There are several recognised hereditary eye diseases that affect the Golden Retriever breed. Breeding stock should have an annual eye examination to ensure that they are not affected.
Entropion is an inherited condition of the eyelid where the border of the eyelid turns in and hair normally on the outside of the lid rubs on the surface of the eye. Surgery is required to alleviate the dog's discomfort and prevent damage to the eye.
Distichia (extra eyelashes) grow from glands in the eyelid edge onto the cornea. These may or may not cause irritation to the eye.
A cataract is any opacity in the lens of the eye. Cataracts can develop from many causes, including injury. There are several different types of cataract, some which are inherited. Where cataracts are present in both eyes and they mature the dog may become blind. Surgery is available in some cases.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
The retina is the light sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye. In retinal atrophy this layer of tissue gradually degenerates. Affected dogs have night blindness, progressing to day blindness.
Eye Diseases in Golden Retrievers by Robin Stanley of Animal Eye Care has more information on eye diseases.