According to the study published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, eye pressure was not associated with air pollution. It most commonly results from a build-up of pressure from fluid in the eye, causing damage to the optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain, they said.
Air pollution could be contributing to one of the leading forms of blindness in Britain, scientists fear, after discovering the risk of glaucoma rises in smoggy areas.
People residing in areas which have greater amount of fine particulate matter were 6% more likely to suffer from glaucoma in comparison to those residing in least-polluted areas.
Conducted across 13 different cities in the United Kingdom and Poland, the research suggested that air pollution contributes to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, heart failure and bronchitis.
In an effort to evaluate how increased levels of air pollution could play a role in glaucoma, investigators conducted an assessment on 111,370 participants in the UK Biobank study cohort. They also had a thinner retina which is one of the symptoms for glaucoma progression. Eye measures included self-reported glaucoma, intraocular pressure (IOP), and average thickness of macular ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (GCIPL) across nine Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) retinal subfields as obtained from spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. "The fact that new immigrants are as sensitive or more sensitive to air pollution compared to Canadians further suggests air pollution affects everyone, even those in good health". The researchers focused on fine particulate matter such as PM2.5, which is equal to or less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter.
They are urging all political parties to commit to adopting a legally binding target to meet World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for particulate matter pollution by 2030 and take steps immediately to reduce illegal air pollution across the UK. The latest study adds to previous evidence that people in urban areas are 50 per cent more likely to have glaucoma than those in rural areas, suggesting that air pollution may be a key contributor to that pattern.
The study's first author, Dr Sharon Chua of UCL's Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital, said: "Air pollution may be contributing to glaucoma due to the constriction of blood vessels, which ties into air pollution's links to an increased risk of heart problems. Given that this was in the United Kingdom, which has relatively low particulate matter pollution on the global scale, glaucoma may be even more strongly impacted by air pollution elsewhere in the world", Foster said.
The air quality of Noida and Greater Noida on Tuesday remained in the "poor" category for the second consecutive day with Air Quality Index (AQI) docking at 270 and 271, said Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).