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Researchers at the University of East Anglia have discovered a potential link between air pollution and increased risk of developing glaucoma. The study, published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, analyzed data from over 100,000 individuals across the UK. It found that those living in the most polluted areas faced a 6% higher risk of glaucoma compared to those in cleaner areas.

This risk was notable even after accounting for other factors such as age, deprivation, and smoking status. Glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness worldwide, is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve. The researchers believe that the fine particulate matter in air pollution may be a key factor in exacerbating the development of this condition.

The World Health Organization estimates that air pollution causes around 7 million premature deaths annually. The study’s findings highlight the importance of addressing air quality issues, not only for respiratory health but also for eye health. While more research is needed to establish a definitive causal relationship, the study underscores the potential impact of environmental factors on eye diseases like glaucoma.

Understanding these connections could lead to better prevention and management strategies to protect individuals’ eye health in the face of increasing pollution levels worldwide.

Read the full story by: BBC