27 January 2021

Air pollution linked to higher risk of sight loss

Our Clinical Adviser comments on a new study that small increases in air pollution are linked to an increased risk of AMD.

You may have seen a recent news article from The Guardian detailing evidence from a new UK-based study that small increases in air pollution are linked to an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Dr Paramdeep Bilkhu MCOptom, Clinical Adviser to The College of Optometrists, says: “It’s important to note that although this study gives us insight into environmental factors that are associated with AMD, it should not discourage members of the public from spending time outside, but consider the environmental impact of their lifestyle choices. Further, the study shows the need to act on air pollution issues quickly as the associated increased risk of AMD will otherwise grow over time. We are aware that air pollutants are increasingly being linked to a wide range of health diseases, which makes small lifestyle changes in the effort to improve air quality and tackle climate change all the more essential.”

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Related further reading

Clinical Adviser for the College Daniel Hardiman-McCartney FCOptom on how to ensure a sustainable optometry workforce.

Clinical case studies can make a small but important contribution to the sum of clinical knowledge. Why do we need them, asks Kim Thomas, and how do you write one?

The College’s Clinical Editor, Jane Veys MCOptom, on rabbits in the headlights and royally good handovers