“Sorry, dahhhling. Your myopia, it’s genetic.”
Here’s the bottom line, before we fully get into this topic. If a ‘doctor’ says those words to you, then he or she is an idiot.
You’re thinking, Jake. That’s a bit harsh.
But it’s true. For you or me not to know how genetics work is excusable. And actually if you consider a doctor to be an individual who collects information from you about a series of symptoms and then sells you some patented, approved treatment in form of some ‘prescription’ pill, then it’s also excusable for them to have no clue.
And we won’t turn one single article here into a full-on genetics lesson. We’ll just discuss a few curious basics here, on why “it’s genetic” is the utterance of a clueless moron.
First, yes. Genetics of course are responsible for many aspects of your biology, appearance, and abilities. Your eye color, your hair color, or whether you’ve got a long, rat-face nose like a certain last one of the eye gurus. All genetic.
More importantly, and appropriate for the “genetic myopia” discussion though, genetics affect how your body responds to external stimuli.
Genetics And External Stimuli
You might have genetics that will grow you lots of fast twitch muscles, if you go outside and run fast every day. Those genetics will ‘make you’ a fast runner. But hey, guess what? If you sit on the couch and never go run, that genetic gift by itself won’t miraculously grow you those fast twitch fibers. Stimulus is required.
And this, kittehs, is the very, very basics about genetics and stimulus.
If you once didn’t have myopia, then getting myopia at some point is a matter of external stimuli. There’s no genetic myopia time bomb gene that suddenly started expressing itself in a massive portion of the population, one that didn’t exist for 99.99999999999% of human existence (till about 30 years ago, on any notable scale).
Period. No real disputing that basic premise of stimulus response affected by genetics.
You don’t get fat because of genetics. You get fat because of food. You don’t become myopic because of genetics. You become myopic because of staring at screens, and because of the minus lens quick fix that you’re being sold to hide the symptom.
Of course there’s more to all that story, a little bit of which we cover in this video:
The genetically rat-faced voice of reason.
So yes, genetics play a role.
Science is finding those genetic markers specifically, which determine your susceptibility for axial elongation based on focal plane stimulus.
This, anyone with access to the Internet and a quick search on scholar.google.com can determine fairly easily. This, anyone with extensive education about human biology should have come to question a long time ago, which must take a curious amount of willful ignorance to claim that myopia is ‘genetic’.
Question medical authority, especially when they have a strong profit motive (and a very not-at-all strong health education motive). Science is your friend.