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Air Pollution associated with Higher Glaucoma Risk, says study

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Published on : Nov 27, 2019

According to a new study, residents of areas with higher pollution level are at a greater risk of glaucoma - a debilitating eye condition that can lead to blindness. Individuals living in neighborhoods with higher amount of particulate matter have at least 6% higher risk of reporting glaucoma- say numbers.

With this finding, it becomes evident for air pollution to be addressed as a public health priority. And that it is worthwhile to avoid sources of air pollution for eye health as well as general health.

Nonetheless, the finding requires further research to be established if air pollution is a cause of glaucoma. The research continues if adoption of avoidance strategies for exposure to air pollution could mitigate health risks.

Finding Reveals Second Risk Factor for Glaucoma

Medically, glaucoma is the major cause of irreversible blindness that affects more than 60 million individuals worldwide. The occurrence of the disorder is related to build up of pressure from fluid in the eye. This pressure results in damage to the optic nerve that connects eye to the brain.

Meanwhile, old age and genetics are major risk factors of glaucoma that are out of control. With the finding, a second risk factor for glaucoma is identified. This could be modified with the help of treatment, or lifestyle and policy changes.

The findings are based on a UK Biobank study cohort of 111,370 participants. The participants underwent eye tests between 2006 and 2010 at locations across Britain. The participants provided answers if they had glaucoma, and if they underwent various scans and testing for measure of intraocular pressure.

The response thus received from participants was linked to air pollution measure of their home addresses, as obtained by Small Area Statistics Unit

According to the research, individuals in most-polluted 25% areas carried 6% more risk of having glaucoma than individuals in least-polluted areas.