Owning a cat could damage your eyesight.

Owning a cat could damage your eyesight.


Exposure to cats and cockroaches may be associated with an increased risk of glaucoma, however exposure to dogs may reduce the risk of developing the eye disease. This was the finding in a 2015 paper published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

It was discovered that people diagnosed with glaucoma had higher levels of immunoglobulin E than the standard population.

This is an allergic antibody which is found in immunological conditions such as asthma or hayfever. However generally raised levels of this antibody were not associated with glaucoma. It was specifically cat and cockroach allergens associated with this antibody that were related to the development of glaucoma. Glaucoma sufferers had approximately twice the levels of immunoglobulin E than someone without the condition.

Levels associated with dogs were elevated in just six per cent of glaucoma patients, compared with nine per cent of those without the eye disease.

It is thought that exposure to dog allergens are mildly protective of glaucoma because the allergens behave differently since dogs spend more time outside.

Posted 24 February 2016


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