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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

tio 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.


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Contact: Media Relations
media@aao.org
American Academy of Ophthalmology
Source:Eurekalert

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