Are you one of those people who struggle to read road signs or menus from a distance? If yes, then chances are that you might be suffering from myopia, commonly known as nearsightedness.
But did you know that your genes could be responsible for it? That’s right! In this article, we will explore the link between myopia and genetics and how they can affect your vision.
What is Myopia?
Firstly, let’s understand what myopia is. Myopia is a common eye condition where people have trouble seeing objects or things that are far away. People with myopia can see things up close, but anything beyond that appears blurry or unclear. Luckily, treatment is avialable for myopia management.
It is like looking through a pair of binoculars the wrong way round!
Does Genetics Affect Myopia?
Now, let’s delve into how genetics can affect myopia. Genes are the basic units of heredity, and they determine everything from your height, hair colour, and even your eye shape.
Several studies have shown that myopia can be inherited from one or both parents. Scientists have discovered that several genes play a role in myopia development, with some of them responsible for regulating eye growth while others control the shape of the eye.
It means that if your parents have myopia, then you have a higher chance of developing it too. But don’t worry, not all children of myopic parents will have myopia themselves, and not all cases of myopia are hereditary.
Environmental Factors that Affect Myopia
Genetics is not the only factor that determines myopia. Environmental factors such as the amount of time spent outdoors, reading, and other close-up work can also affect myopia development.
For instance, research has shown that children who spend more time outdoors have a lower risk of developing myopia. Similarly, prolonged close-up work such as reading, writing, and computer use can increase the risk of developing myopia.
What Is The Treatment for Myopia?
Eyeglasses are the most common and simplest way to correct myopia. They help to focus light on the retina, which improves your vision.
- Contact Lenses
Contact lenses are an alternative to glasses that work in a similar way. They are placed directly on the eye to correct vision.
- Refractive Surgery
Refractive surgery is an option for those who want a more permanent solution to their myopia. The surgery reshapes the cornea to improve vision.
Here are 7 of the most common myths about myopia and genetics debunked.
Many misconceptions about myopia and its link to genetics have been circulating for a long time.
Let’s take a look at some of them that are making the rounds. Shall we?
Myth #1: Myopia is caused by reading too much
One of the most common myths about myopia is that reading too much or spending too much time on a computer can cause it.
While there is some evidence to suggest that excessive near work can increase the risk of myopia, it is not the sole cause. Genetics play a significant role in determining whether someone develops myopia or not.
Myth #2: Only children can develop myopia
Myopia can affect people of all ages, not just children. While it is true that myopia often develops in childhood, it can continue to progress into adulthood, and many people don’t realize they have myopia until later in life.
Myth #3: If both parents have myopia, their child will definitely have it too
While having myopic parents does increase the likelihood of developing myopia, it does not guarantee it. Many factors contribute to the development of myopia, including genetics and environmental factors.
Myth #4: Myopia can be cured
Unfortunately, there is no cure for myopia. However, there are several treatment options available to help manage and correct it, such as eyeglasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery.
Myth #5: Myopia only affects people with a certain eye shape
Myopia can affect people with different eye shapes, and it is not limited to a particular group of people. While some eye shapes may be more prone to myopia than others, anyone can develop myopia regardless of their eye shape.
Myth #6: Myopia will go away on its own
Myopia does not go away on its own. In fact, it can worsen over time if left untreated. It’s essential to get regular eye exams to ensure that your myopia is under control.
Myth #7: Wearing glasses or contacts can make myopia worse
Wearing glasses or contacts does not make myopia worse. In fact, it is crucial to wear corrective lenses to improve vision and prevent myopia from progressing.
Myopia is a common eye condition that affects many people worldwide. While genetics plays a significant role in its development, environmental factors also contribute to it.
If you suspect you might have myopia, visit an optician or eye specialist, who will diagnose it and prescribe the best treatment option for you. Remember, taking care of your eyes is essential to maintain good vision and overall health.