Can myopia be inherited?

Myopia is the most common eye disease, but its cause is still unclear today.

For a long time, the scientific community has believed that genetic factors play a great role in the formation of myopia. If one parent is myopic, the possibility of myopia for children is very high.

Environmental disaster

Myopia is much more common in Asian countries than in Europe and the United States, and the rate of myopia is rising rapidly. In East Asian countries including mainland China and Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, the rate of myopia among students in schools is close to 90%.

In view of this situation, relevant epidemiological studies believe that myopia is related to environmental factors, including reading and using computers, lack of outdoor activities, living in cities and educational level, etc.

From an epidemiological point of view, the above evidence of environmental factors is relatively tenable, but genetic factors cannot be ruled out.

Ophthalmologists in Europe and the United States mostly believe that myopia is determined by genetic factors. What kind of factors play a role? It determines whether myopia can be prevented. If it is determined by environmental factors, increasing outdoor activities, reducing reading time, watching TV and playing games, etc., may reduce the incidence of myopia. If it is determined by genetic factors, there is no way to prevent myopia, especially in countries with serious air pollution, there is no need to increase outdoor activities.

Two Related Studies

A 2013 study provided credible evidence for the genetic factors of myopia. Researchers analyzed the gene sequence of four members of a family with high myopia. It was found that all of them had SCO2 gene defects, and those members of their family who were not highly myopic did not have this gene defect. In addition, they found that 140 people with high myopia had this gene defect.

A 2014 study of more than 4,600 Germans found that myopia is far less related to genetic factors than to education level. The higher the education level, the higher the myopia rate.

These two studies, on the one hand, cannot confirm that genetic factors play a decisive role in myopia, and on the other hand, cannot deny the influence of genetic factors on myopia.

Why does heredity say there is such a market?

Genetic variation occurs in myopic patients in the family, Not necessarily hereditary, It is likely that since childhood, the living habits and eating habits are close, Causing the same problems in gene expression. Many things that seem to be inherited are likely to be that children’s living and eating habits are the same as those of their parents. Because living and eating habits are the biggest influencing factors of their health status, children’s health status is often the same as that of their parents.

On the other hand, although education level is related to the incidence of myopia, parents with high education level often have high education level for their children. In this case, there are considerable genetic factors in education level.

On the issue of myopia, the reason why there is a great market for genetic factors is that various measures to prevent myopia have often failed.

Is there a reliable method to prevent myopia?

Judging from the current research results, Eclectic analysis is: on the problem of myopia, there are genetic factors, also have environmental factors. In recent years, the incidence of myopia is getting higher and higher, which is likely to be the influence of environmental factors, and the role of genetic factors cannot be excluded. For example, genetic variation causing myopia is more common due to some reason, at least the correlation between high myopia and genetic factors is greater.

For parents, if myopia is not caused by heredity, to prevent children’s myopia, it is necessary to increase outdoor activities and reduce the time spent on study and TV, computer and game consoles.

According to China’s national conditions, due to severe smog, it is unrealistic to increase outdoor activities. Reducing the time spent on study, including the use of computers, will also affect children’s studies and competitiveness. What can be done is to make children watch less TV, play less games and use less smart phones. Whether myopia can be prevented or not, it is good for children’s study and health.

If myopia is caused by heredity, the burden on parents will be much lighter. Let the children go and do laser surgery in the future.

Responsible Editor: Xu Zhuojun

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