The Role Genetics Play in Having Poor Vision


"While there are environmental factors that can affect vision, it’s easy to see that poor vision runs in families, thanks to genetics.

A Worldwide Study
Just a few years ago, a team of scientists from all over the world performed the largest study in history about genetics and poor vision, analyzing the genome data of over 45,000 people of both European and Asian descent. The scientists discovered at least 24 genes related to refractive error, which is the most common eye disorder in the world.

The study focused mostly on myopia, or nearsightedness, which is the most common refractive error and affects around 1 in 3 Americans. This means objects and words up close are clear, but anything at a distance appears blurry. People who have myopia also have a greater risk of developing retinal detachment or glaucoma.

In the analysis of the study, scientists found that people with more gene variants associated with refractive error are 10 times more likely to be nearsighted than those within the study without any gene variants. This proves that genetics do play a role in poor vision.

How the Results Affect You
This study gave scientists great insight into how myopia is caused, and the results will be used to develop new ways to treat and even prevent this and other vision conditions.

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