Five genetic variants can trigger the development of myopia, a new research study has indicated.

A trial by Cardiff University has also found that graduates are more at risk of being shorted-sighted.

Myopia is an extremely common eye condition where an individual cannot see objects far away clearly.

During the genome-wide association study, the team of researchers analysed the eye health of more than 300,000 adults to assess whether there is a link between certain genetics and sight problems. Each participant also self-reported whether they had been to university or not.

A total of five genetic variants that influence the onset of myopia were detected, scientists have said.

Top author Rosie Clark said: “We generally took people who said they started wearing glasses before 25 as a sign they had myopia. Many studies have shown the link between education and myopia.”

Individuals who are educated to degree level are likely to spend most of their time indoors, which is associated with worsened eyesight, the study has reported.

Academics have said that the development of myopia can be combatted by regularly spending time outdoors.

However, Ian Morgan from the Australian National University in Canberra is unsure of these findings.

He said: “While this is beautiful scientific work that certainly adds to our understanding, the bottom line is that it is not clear that genetic analysis is leading to useful interventions to control myopia.”

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