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"Can myopia be passed to children genetically?"


Given that both my husband and I are severly myopic, what are the odds that if we have a child, the child will also be nearsighted? My husband is arguing that it's a sure thing, but I thought eyesight was a much more complex trait than that, because both my parents had great eyesight - but I don't...


Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a complex physical condition that is probably produced as a result of many interacting genes and environmental factors. In other words, although genes and inheritance do play a role, they do so in ways that are not always straight forward and predictably. Therefore there is not a 1 to 1 correlation between nearsighted parents and the development of myopia in their children.

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That being said, there is definitely a genetic effect. For example identical twins are much more likely to both develop myopia than non-identical twins. In some studies up to 50% of children in families where both parents are myopic were also myopic. As you comment in your question, genetics is not the full answer, as you have members of your own family that were not myopic. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concerns will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Talking about your concerns with your eye doctor might be advised.

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