Vehicle pollution could almost double the risk of visual impairment from macular degeneration (AMD), Science Focus reports.
Taiwanese researchers found that people over the age of 50 who live in the most highly polluted areas are at a much higher risk of developing AMD, a neurodegenerative eye condition that affects the center of the vision, they say.
The condition is caused by damage to the middle of the retina, known as the macula, and is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It can eventually lead to complete loss of vision in the central area.
“Our results show that only people living in the highest quartile of pollution have the increased risk,” said Professor Suh-Hang Hank Juo of the China Medical University in Taiwan, one of the paper’s authors.