Residents of major cities with high levels of air pollution have an increased risk of dry eye syndrome, according to a study presented at the world's largest ophthalmic conference, the 117th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, in New Orleans.
Study subjects in and around Chicago and New York City were found to be three to four times more likely to be diagnosed with dry eye syndrome compared to less urban areas with relatively little air pollution. As a result of this study, researchers suggest that environmental manipulations should be considered as part of the overall control and management of patients with dry eye syndrome.
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 and whose manifestations negatively affect physical and mental functioning. The symptoms of dry eye syndrome can be very detrimental to patients and severely affect the quality of one's life, as well as result in loss of productivity due to interruption of daily activities like reading and using computer screens. While it has been suggested that environmental factors impact dry eye syndrome, this is the first study of a large patient population covering the entire continental United States which linked dry eye syndrome treatment location to atmospheric conditions – in particular, air pollution coupled with weather conditions.
Using data from the National Veterans Administrative (VA) database, the National Climatic Data Center and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the researchers examined the health records of 606,708 U.S. veterans who received dry eye syndrome treatment in one of 394 VA eye clinics within the continental U.S. from July 2006 through July 2011. 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 (17-21%) and high levels of air pollution.
Additionally, the risk of dry eye syndrome was 13 percent higher in zip codes in high altitude areas. Higher humidity and wind speed were inversely associated with the risk of dry eye syndrome when controlled for air pollution and other weather conditions. The research findings suggest that primary care physicians and eye care professionals should be aware of the association between environmental conditions and dry eye, and elicit an environmental history when assessing patients with dry eye syndrome.
"Undoubtedly, many people living in arid and polluted cities would readily attest to the irritating effect air pollution has on dry eye," said Anat Galor, M.D., MPSH, of Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, and lead researcher. "Our research suggests that simple actions, such as maintaining the appropriate humidity indoors and using a high-quality air filter, should be considered as part of the overall management of patients suffering from dry eye syndrome."
Dry eye symptoms can range from stinging or burning to excessive tearing and discomfort wearing contact lenses. As the eye responds to the irritation of this condition, the eye will often tear excessively to try to combat the loss of moisture. Many people with dry eye syndrome may find watching television, reading and working for extended periods on a computer to be very uncomfortable. For relief from dry eye syndrome, the American Academy of Ophthalmology advises people to visit an ophthalmologist to determine the best course of treatment.
Environmental Factors and Dry Eye Syndrome: A Study Utilizing the National U.S. Veterans Affairs Administrative Database (PO052) was presented at the 117th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. More than 25,000 attendees and 500 companies from over 120 countries gather each year to showcase the latest in ophthalmic education, research, clinical developments, technology, products and services. To learn more about the place Where All of Ophthalmology Meets, visit http://www.aao.org/2013.
Note to media: Contact Media Relations to request full text of the study and arrange interviews with experts
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons — Eye M.D.s — with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three "O's" – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who has the education and training to treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit http://www.aao.org. The Academy's EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit http://www.geteyesmart.org or http://www.ojossanos.org to learn more.
Media Relations | EurekAlert!
A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital
Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.04.2017 | Life Sciences