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    Your pet may increase your glaucoma risk

    Los Angeles—A recent study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, found that exposure to cats and cockroaches may increase the risk for glaucoma, while contact with dogs could help guard against the disease.

    Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, analyzed data from 1,678 participants from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES). The participants underwent allergy testing for cats, dogs, cockroaches, rodents, and dust mites. Researchers also noted any use of steroids.

    Related: Rise in erectile dysfunction associated with glaucoma

    The study found that people with glaucoma—who consisted of 5.1 percent of the study’s participants—had significantly higher levels of the allergic antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE) to cats and cockroaches (although elevated IgE levels do not mean a person has an allergy).

    Of the participants who were diagnosed with glaucoma, 14.3 percent had significantly elevated IgE levels to cats and 19.1 percent to cockroaches. In comparison, 10 percent of the participants without glaucoma had elevated IgE levels to either cats or cockroaches.

    Next: A win for dog people 

    Colleen E. McCarthy
    Colleen McCarthy is a freelance writer based in the Cleveland area and a former editor of Optometry Times. She is a 2010 graduate of the ...


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