Syracuse, New York / May 20, 2019 / -- According to a recent study, people who have a genetic history of glaucoma face a greater risk of developing vision loss after exposure to small-particle air pollution known as carbon black—more commonly known as soot.
Researchers discovered that among older men who bore the genetic characteristics common in individuals who are predisposed to oxidative stress, long-term exposure to carbon black increased their risk of feeling higher pressure in their eyes—a condition known as glaucoma, which can lead to blindness if left untreated. Carbon black is a dangerous airborne pollutant typically generated by vehicle emissions and the burning of fossil fuels.
Impact of Indoor Air Quality on Eye Health
The findings of the study, which were published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology, helped shed light on a new dimension that eye doctors may not have considered before now. According to Jamaji Nwanaji-Enwerem, the study’s lead author and an MD/Ph.D. candidate at the Harvard Medical School, glaucoma is often linked to risk factors such as age and genetic predisposition, for example, someone else in the family having glaucoma. In recent years, however, scientists are beginning to appreciate how the indoor air quality of an environment also affects vision health.
Nwanaji-Enwerem explains that one area in eye health that needs more research is how the environment affects a person’s risk of developing eye diseases. As such, he and his colleagues decided to look at the effect of outdoor and indoor air quality—more specifically, his research team analyzed the health impacts of tiny carbon black particles smaller than 2.5. microns in diameter.
Did the study show high efficiency air filters can help prevent glaucoma? And what does the link between indoor air quality, air filtration systems, and oxidative stress really mean for your health? Continue reading here.
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