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Startling evidence that eyesight stays in the genes

Startling evidence that eyesight stays in the genes

Thursday 06 July 2017

New research by Anglia Ruskin University shows that identical twins have identical vision defects into their 50s, even down to the smallest detail. A remarkable finding, as these people had been "using" their eyes for half a century, yet diet, accidents, and disease had no impact. The startling conclusion reached is that optical aberrations in healthy people are caused by genetics rather than environmental or lifestyle factors.

Researchers discovered the results after examining the vision of 69 sets of twins, 36 of whom are identical twins. The study looked at optical defects found in every eye which slightly alter a person’s vision. Non-identical twins, who only share 50% of genes on average, had different ocular defects as a consequence of their genetic difference, compared to identical twins (who share 100% of genes).

The author of the study, Dr Juan Tabernero, writes: “Our results were particularly striking if we take into account that our twins were mostly in the 50s and had been ‘using’ their eyes independently from each sibling for such a long time.”


  1. Medical News Today:
    Identical twins have identical vision, down to the smallest detail.

  2. Cambridge Network:


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  • Kathryn Spurr
    09 Jul 2017

    An intriguing result. Could the same be said of other genetic relationships as my eyesight has mirrored that of my father ; no pun intended; including me recently having to have cataract surgery albeit some 18yrs before he did. It would be interesting to find out.

    Serious Readers reply:

    Hi Kathryn,

    Thanks for the feedback. You’re right, it would be interesting to know how much of our eye “health” is inherited. The research study quoted says that only identical twins show exactly the same genetic make-up.

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