June 2023
Volume 64, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2023
Evaluating the Association Between Air Pollution and Dry Eye in Low-Income, Minority Communities of Miami Gardens, Florida
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • chioma amuzie
    University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, United States
  • Simran Mangwani Mordani
    University of Miami Health System Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, Florida, United States
  • Naresh Kumar
    Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, United States
  • Anat Galor
    Ophthalmology, Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Miami, Florida, United States
    University of Miami Health System Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, Florida, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   chioma amuzie None; Simran Mangwani Mordani None; Naresh Kumar None; Anat Galor None
  • Footnotes
    Support  Supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Research and Development, Clinical Sciences R&D I01 CX002015, Biomedical Laboratory R&D Service I01 BX004893, Rehabilitation R&D I21 RX003883, Department of Defense Gulf War Illness Research Program W81XWH-20-1-0579 and Vision Research Program W81XWH-20-1-0820, National Eye Institute U01 EY034686, R01EY026174, R61EY032468, NIH Center Core Grant P30EY014801 and Research to Prevent Blindness Unrestricted Grant GR004596-1, Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring Program Research Grant
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2023, Vol.64, 1165. doi:
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      chioma amuzie, Simran Mangwani Mordani, Naresh Kumar, Anat Galor; Evaluating the Association Between Air Pollution and Dry Eye in Low-Income, Minority Communities of Miami Gardens, Florida. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2023;64(8):1165.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : According to the World Health Organization, about 25% of the global disease burden can be attributed to modifiable environmental risk factors. However, this disease burden is likely to be underestimated, because it does not account for emerging risks of several conditions, such as dry eye (DE). DE is a common constellation of ocular symptoms and signs. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, dryness, burning, and excessive tearing. DE signs, for example, include tear film abnormalities and corneal staining. Studies show that air pollutants are associated with DE. However, we know little about the risks of air pollution for DE among low-income minority communities, who are likely to bear disproportionately higher environmental disease burden. Thus, we hypothesize that an association between sources of air pollution and DE symptoms will be noted in such communities.

Methods : Potential participants were approached within the city limits of Miami Gardens, Fl. After providing consent, subjects were asked to anonymously complete a brief 3 minute survey. Questions on the survey included, but were not limited to: personal demographics, sources of potential indoor and outdoor air pollutants, and self-reported DE symptoms. DE symptoms included dryness, burning, excessive tearing, and changes in vision. Respondent data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and with Chi-square test using the IBM® SPSS® Statistics Software.

Results : Of the 56 respondents, 96.4% identified as Black and 53.6% as female. 91.1% reported earning less than $50,000 a year. When examining associations between environmental exposures and DE symptoms, the strongest association was found with having carpet in the home. For example, 20.4% of individuals with home carpets reported constant eye irritation and burning sensation compared to 0% of individuals without carpets (p<0.05). Other variables associated with DE symptoms included smog, income level, and eye drops usage.

Conclusions : Modifiable environmental risk factors have disease burden implications for predominantly low-income minority communities. Results from this study suggest that there is a relationship between sources of air pollutants and dry eye symptoms. Future studies are needed that focus on both DE symptoms and signs, to better understand whether abnormal tear and ocular surface parameters underlie the noted associations.

This abstract was presented at the 2023 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in New Orleans, LA, April 23-27, 2023.


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