Do Genetics Play A Role In Vision Problems?

People at any age can develop a need for glasses. From babies to seniors, vision problems don’t discriminate. And, it is not uncommon to see a family where almost all of them have glasses. Is this merely a coincidence, or do genetics play a role in the grander scheme of vision?

Factors That Play Into Vision Problems

Screen time – The longer you spend looking at screens, the worse your vision may become.
Sunshine – Looking into the sun can cause damage to your eyes, even with sunglasses, unless they are polarized, can cause issues.
Stress – Stress can temporarily impair your vision. Prolonged periods of stress can result in faulty vision.
Sleep – Lack of sleep can also impair your vision.
Illness – having an illness in early childhood like meningitis can result in complications detrimental to vision.
Trauma – Suffering trauma to the optic nerve from a physical injury can also negatively impact vision.
Genetics – Scientists have found that genetics play a significant role in many eye problems.

Which Vision Problems Can Be Inherited?

Over half of infant blindness cases stem from genetics, that’s because the conditions that are inherited do not have to do with any sort of trauma. Myopia and hyperopia are two conditions that can be inherited because they have to do with the shape the eyes were at birth. Other conditions inherited at birth include cross-eyed and having a lazy eye. Traumatic vision problems are not inherited. That includes vision problems due to the sun, lack of sleep, illness, or screen time. That being said, eye problems that develop later in life, like glaucoma, are primarily hereditary.

Can Inherited Vision Problems Be Corrected?

Some genetic vision problems can be corrected by wearing glasses or laser treatment. While the physical symptoms are corrected, these problems are not corrected in the genes, though and can still be passed down to future children. There are glasses available for those who need them at every age. Lenses are custom-made to fit each person’s specific needs, some only need correction in one eye while others in both. Sometimes even, one eye is hyperopic and the other myopic. Your optometrist will test your eyes to determine your unique needs.