Are vision problems hereditary or environment?


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When I was little I never really had problems with my eyes, I could always see everything near and far and never had an issue. As I got older my eyes progressively got worse, to the point where I wasn’t even noticing it. I never thought I needed glasses or that I had a vision problem, I just figured that I was far from the board or the markers were old and they were writing really light. I just figured from where I was everybody couldn’t see those things. It wasn’t til I took a vision test my 8th grade year that I realized that my vision was really bad for things that were at a distance. I ended up getting glasses today and pretty much wear them just in class, but I never thought that I would need glasses. None of my siblings, parents and even my extended family really ever had glasses. This led me to the question of whether or not problems with your vision are hereditary or not?

Most doctors claim that some vision problems are hereditary whereas others say they are more environment. A study conducted in London shows that eyesight problems are mostly hereditary. They conducted a study of 500 pairs of twins, the results showed that 85% of cases of nearsightedness and farsightedness in kids is due to the inherited traits from their parents.

I also ran across an article that had differing opinions on the topic. This article makes the claim that vision problems are due to environment. He makes claims about the substantial amount of people that need to wear glasses or contacts today as opposed to those before World War I.

I think that needing to wear glasses is more of an inherited trait that can be strengthened by environment. I think that yes over time if you stare at your phone all day or at a screen all day that it will eventually do damage to your eyes. But I think previously when we didn’t have phones and computers that people inherited the traits of being nearsighted or farsighted. It is a pretty interesting topic to read about. I would love to hear about other people’s opinions on the topic.

5 thoughts on “Are vision problems hereditary or environment?

  1. Stephanie Keyaka

    Hi Ben(Jamin), -figured I’d cover which ever one you prefer to go by (:

    This is actually very interesting, as someone who has had to wear classes her entire life, I often just blamed my parents for this (more specifically my dad’s horrific vision). I never imagined that it could be caused by environmental factors. Curious as to what else could effect vision, I searched up other environmental factors. I was surprised at the findings: …Maybe the advice from our parents to eat our carrots when we were younger to help with our eyesight actually had some merit behind it.

  2. Bernarda Jarrin Alvear

    Your post was very interesting. I have very bad eye vision and most of the people from my family too, still my eye sight is worse than theirs. I believe it could be because I watch too much tv and I spent too much time on my cell phone. So genes will always affect but your experiences and your daily habits will always have a great impact on your health. Here is an article from the The Times of India that explains how radiation fro you cellphone affects your eyes very badly and can even create early cataracts.

  3. Brett Alan Merritt

    I tend to believe that vision problems can be both hereditary and environmentally caused. Both my parents have to wear glasses, but my brother and I both have 20/20 vision. This makes me believe that my parents passed us on good vision traits but needed glasses over time for themselves. Do you think there is another reason why both my brother and I could have 20/20 vision when our parents need glasses?

  4. dff5115

    This is a great post and i was the same way; my vision started to get worse and worse without me noticing it. My mom has classes but none of my brothers do and neither does my dad. i think my vision has gotten worse over the year because of how close my TV is to my bed.

  5. Darby Helen Smith

    I have been experiences the same loss of vision that you did as I have gotten older and I have especially noticed it here in my big lecture classes! I have not taken the initiative to get glasses yet, but I think it is time. I wrote a blog post earlier about the causes of lost vision and came across findings that supported both environmental and hereditary factors that play into vision.

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