Is Poor Vision Genetic?

Poor eyesight is neither a dominant nor recessive trait, but it does tend to run in families. However, poor vision is more complex than being able to outright blame your parents. Here are a few factors that determine one’s vision outcomes.

The Relationship Between Vision and Genetics

Recently, researchers have been determining which genes in your DNA are linked to poor vision. As it turns out, genetics plays a large role in many eye diseases and conditions occurring in children and adults. In fact, genetics is at least partially responsible for macular degeneration and glaucoma.

However, genetics is too complex a field to simply explain all of your ocular problems. For example: even if your parents have 20/20 vision, you have a higher chance of developing vision problems if your grandparents experienced vision impairments. Other conditions could be influenced by multiple genes, but might not depend exclusively on genetic factors, such as strabismus (ocular misalignment).

Some common, genetically-linked vision problems include:

The latest research suggests that genetics plays a primary role in the most common vision problems. For patients with a family history of vision problems, it’s important to visit an optometrist for an eye evaluation, even if a patient’s eyes are healthy.

Treatment for Genetically Poor Vision

While you can’t escape your genes, the majority of the above conditions are treatable or manageable, especially if they’re diagnosed early on. Understanding your family’s health history, and a working knowledge of which conditions are inherited will help you know what to seek treatment for. An annual comprehensive eye exam will help identify and treat your vision problems by forming a plan that fits your specific vision care needs. There may be many lifestyle steps that can help minimize overall risk and/or help to manage heritable vision conditions.

Eye Care for the Whole Family

At Complete Eye Care of Medina, we value your family’s health, together, we can treat your family’s vision problems. If you don’t have vision insurance, Complete Eye Care’s 20/20 Club can help you save hundreds on annual eye exams, eyewear, and other treatments.

If you’re curious about your family’s vision history and how it might impact you or your children, schedule an appointment by calling us today at 763-225-3859 or visiting us online at