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Residents of most polluted US cities -- New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami -- have increased risk of dry eye syndrome
Date:11/16/2013

NEW ORLEANS Nov. 16, 2013 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 ra
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Contact: Media Relations
media@aao.org
American Academy of Ophthalmology
Source:Eurekalert

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