The increase in the number of cases of dry eye syndrome may be associated not only with the widespread proliferation of computers, smartphones and other gadgets, which require eye strain. The polluted air of large cities is also a cause for this syndrome.
Until recently, the incidence of dry eye syndrome or prevalence, as they call the pathology doctors-ophthalmologists, was associated exclusively with a constant eye strain and reducing the number of blinks caused by the monitors of personal computers. Also, not the last role was played by the wide distribution of “the tablet”, and smartphones, devices for reading e-books and similar electronic devices.
But American scientists from the Institute of ophthalmology Bascom Palmer in Miami (Bascom Palmer Eye Institute) argue that the risk of xerophthalmia significantly increased even in people who practically do not use modern gadgets, but living in the big cities.
The authors studied the case histories of more than 600,000 patients, veterans of the U.S. army, which had sought medical help in connection with dry eye syndrome between July 2006 and July 2011.
It was found that residence in large cities with high levels of air pollution increased the risk of xerophthalmia in 3-4 times.
While living in large cities, perched high above the sea level, increased the risk of developing dry eye syndrome by 13%.
It is noteworthy that in this case conditions of high humidity and the presence of a large number of windy days per year reduced the risk of xerophthalmia – such weather conditions reduce the concentration of irritating substances and tiny particles in the air.
Currently in the US only in the age category 50 years and older this syndrome, which is characterized by increased dryness of the cornea and conjunctiva of the eye, affects more than 4 million people in the country.