Learning about your family history and genetics is important for many aspects of your health; not just your eyes. However a common question is whether or not poor eyesight is a trait you can inherit from your family tree.
A professional geneticist would most likely tell you that there are dominant and recessive traits and there could be a number of different combinations of diseases and genes that could make up the possibility of poor eyesight.
However, here are 7 facts that help you better understand how genetics play a part in your health, better yet, your eyesight.
1. Studies have show that if both your parents are nearsighted than you have approx. a 1 in 3 chance of also being nearsighted.
2. If neither of your parents are nearsighted there is still a possibility of you becoming nearsighted, however it’s less than a 1 in 40 chance.
3. Many argue that your environment can really affect whether your genetics play a part in your traits, that genetics are just a piece of this complex puzzle.
4. For example, a studied showed that 30 years ago 25% of teenagers in Singapore were nearsighted. More recently it was documented that that number is now 80%.
5. Researchers argue that it isn’t a change in gene pools but rather what kids are doing these days. Excessive TV watching, constantly on tablets and computer are all argued to have an effect.
6. Remember children are made of half of moms’ genes and half of dads’. Therefore the odds of developing any genetic diseases or deficiencies are based off both parents, not just one!
7. Nearsightedness, colour blindness and amblyopia (lazy eye) tend to be the most common traits seen inherited through genetic patterns. However, did you know only females carry and transmit the gene for color blindness?
It’s important to schedule regular check ups for you and your family at your optometrist. Insure they know your family history and you can feel rest assured you are doing everything you can to minimize any impact to you or your family’s health.