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Is My Child Likely to Inherit My Need for Glasses?

Are eye conditions genetic?

A lot of people want to know if their kids and siblings will develop eye issues that are similar to the ones they have. Some conditions are genetic. For example, if keratoconus, the thinning and bulging of the cornea, runs in your family, there is about a 10 percent chance that you will get it. In terms of glasses, near sighted and far sighted, everyone is different. In some families everyone has glasses, in some families nobody has glasses, and in other families one person has glasses. It's important to get your eyes checked because you don't know if there is a need for glasses if you have not been checked yet.

Hereditary conditions 

Your child's view of the world could be quite similar to yours. If both biological parents have vision problems and need to wear glasses, there is a higher possibility that the child will need glasses as well. Eye conditions and diseases can develop for a number of reasons, however you may be more prone to certain conditions that run in the family. There are many afflictions that affect eye health and vision which can be largely influenced by genetics. Some of these may occur in early childhood, while others may afflict healthy eyes later in life.

Some conditions that are believed to be hereditary are:

  • Strabismus, which is the misalignment or crossing of the eyes
  • Amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye
  • Refractive errors, which cause people to be near or far sighted
  • Myopia, or nearsightedness, is an eye condition in which you can view objects up close clearly, but things farther away may appear blurry
  • Hyperopia, commonly referred to as farsightedness, is the common term describing eyesight that is blurry on objects that are nearby, but clear when you look at anything in the distance

What factors contribute to vision problems? 

When it comes to vision problems, genetics and environmental influences play a large role. While there is a significant chance that a child will inherit their parents nearsightedness or farsightedness because of the strong genetic component, vision isn’t all in the genes. Activities including near-point work like reading might contribute to vision problems during the teenage years/early 20’s. Some studies suggest that students who spend a lot of time reading develop nearsightedness more quickly than others do. The genetics of poor eyesight are too complicated to be a simple dominant or recessive trait. If both of your parents are nearsighted, you have about a one in three chance of being nearsighted too. If only one of your parents is nearsighted, you have a one in five chance of being nearsighted, and if neither of your parents are nearsighted, then you have less than a one in 40 chance of being nearsighted.

So the question is raised, is bad vision hereditary? Is it genetic? Is it environmental? Or could it possibly be a combination? These things depend on the genes themselves. You may see families in which all members are wearing glasses, families without glasses, or certain families with members wearing glasses and others without glasses. There is no clear cut answer to a question so individualized and complex.