According to a study published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology in 2014, increased exposure to sunlight and the corresponding ultraviolet radiation could increase the risk of glaucoma. A research team led by Dr. Louis Pasquale of Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary examined 185 people in the United States and Israel with exfoliation syndrome (XFS) and 178 people without the eye condition. Researchers found that the latitude where the participants lived and the average number of hours a week they spent outdoors both played a role in a person’s risk for XFS.
- Researchers found an 11% increase in the risk of XFS for every degree of average latitude from the equator.
- Researchers found a 4% increase in the risk of XFS for each hour per week spent outdoors during the summer, averaged over a lifetime.
Researchers found that people who worked or lived near water or snow were also more likely to develop XFS. Genetics and other environmental factors could also increase a person’s risk.
“The research is well-done and provides evidence for a role of reflected ultraviolet rays, among other genetic and environmental factors, in the development of exfoliation syndrome,” said Dr. Paul Sidoti of Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. “If the causative role of UV light is confirmed, the role of UV-blocking protective eyewear in the prevention of exfoliation syndrome would be substantiated.” [Read more…]