“Most risk factors for glaucoma are beyond our control, such as the elderly or heredity. Hopefully we have now identified a second risk factor for glaucoma(air pollution of glaucoma), after intraocular pressure, which can be adjusted by lifestyle changes, treatment or policy,” Foster said.
A study suggests that exposure to polluted air is associated with an increased risk of glaucoma, a condition of the eye that can cause blindness. The results showed that people living in neighborhoods with high amounts of particulate contamination were 6 percent more likely to develop glaucoma than those living in less polluted areas.
Air pollution( air pollution of glaucoma ) is associated with an increased risk of glaucoma
Researchers note that glaucoma(air pollution of glaucoma), a neurodegenerative disease, is the leading global cause of irreversible blindness and affects more than 60 million people worldwide.
The most common cause, they said, is the accumulation of fluid pressure in the eye, causing damage to the optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain.
The results were based on 111,370 participants from the UK Banking Study Group in the UK, who underwent eye tests from 2006 to 2010 at locations across Britain.
Participants underwent an intraocular pressure test and a retinal laser test to measure the thickness of the eye spots, the central area of the retina.
Participants’ data were linked to air pollution(particulate matter) measures for their home addresses, where researchers focused on fine micro-materials, equal to or less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, or PM2.5.
The team found that people in the most polluted areas – 25 percent of the regions – were 6 percent more likely to develop glaucoma than those in the least polluted quarter.
They found it more likely to have a thinner retina, one of the typical changes in glaucoma development.
sources of air pollution
Eye pressure was not associated with air pollution, as the researchers said that air pollution could affect the risk of glaucoma through a different mechanism.
“Air pollution may be contributing to glaucoma due to contraction of blood vessels, which is associated with air pollution relationships with an increased risk of heart disease,” said the study’s first author, Sharon Chua, of the Institute of Ophthalmology at the University of California Hospital in London.
“Another possibility is that the particles may have a direct toxic effect that damages the nervous system and contributes to inflammation,” Choa said.
The researchers pointed out that air pollution has been implicated in the high risk of cardiovascular disease as well as brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and stroke.
Exposure to molecular materials is one of the strongest predictions of mortality among air pollutants.
The latest study adds to previous evidence that people in urban areas are 50 percent more likely to develop glaucoma than the rural population, suggesting that air pollution may be a major contributor to this pattern.
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