Friday, December 27, 2013

How Does Polluted Air Affect Your Eyes?

Residents of most polluted US cities -- New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami -- have increased risk of dry eye syndrome(Press Release, American Academy of Ophthalmology, Nov. 16, 2013)

Also discussed here: Residents of Most Polluted US Cities Have Increased Risk of Dry Eye Syndrome(Science Daily, Nov. 16, 2013)

And here: Dry Eye Syndrome Linked To Big City Air Pollution (Matthew Mientka, Medical Daily, Nov 17, 2013)

And here: Environmental Factors and Dry Eye Syndrome: A Study Utilizing the National U.S. Veterans Affairs Administrative Database (PO052)(Anat Galor, paper presented at 117th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Nov. 16-19, 2013)

Today we review a paper that examined the link between air pollution and a deficiency in tear production, dry eye syndrome, that affects up to 21% of the population in cities with high levels of air pollution such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and New York. The resulting impact produces stinging eyes and the production of more tears that make it difficult to read or view computer screens.


Key Quotes:

Dry eye syndrome, a deficiency in tear production, is a prevalent condition that effects up to four million people age 50 and older in the United States”

"Those living in areas with high levels of air pollution had the highest magnitude of increased risk for dry eye syndrome, at an incidence rate ratio of 1.4. Most metropolitan areas, including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami showed relatively high prevalence of dry eye syndrome (17 to 21 percent) and high levels of air pollution.”

“a deficiency in tear production, affects as many as 4 million Americans ages 50 and older, with symptoms affecting physical and mental functioning, including the interruption of activities important to modern functioning: reading printed materials as well as on-screen material”

“Symptoms of the potentially painful and disruptive condition range from stinging or burning to excessive tearing and discomfort wearing contact lenses. Responding to the irritation, the eye often tears excessively to compensate for lost moisture, inhibiting the ability to read, or use a computer for extended periods of time”

“Aside from Chicago and New York City, major cities such as Miami and Los Angeles also recorded high levels of air pollution as well as higher than average prevalences of the condition. In big cities, as many as 17-21 percent of the populations in major cities may suffer the condition.”
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