Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
Cooking with wood or coal can increase the risk of cataracts and conjunctiva disorders
Aleksandra Jones | | Quick Read
Can your cooking choices really impact your eyesight? Researchers from the University of Oxford, UK, and the Chinese Academy of Medical Science in Beijing, China, studied data gathered by the China Kadoorie Biobank (which followed almost 500,000 adults in China for 10 years) to examine their cooking habits and hospital admissions for major eye diseases. The study found that people who engaged in long-term use of solid fuels – such as coal and wood – had increased risk of various eye diseases compared with those who used “clean” fuels such as electricity or gas. These diseases included disorders of the sclera, cornea, iris and ciliary body (35 percent higher risk), conjunctiva disorders (32 percent higher risk), and cataracts (17 percent higher risk). People who had used solid fuels but switched to clean fuels during the follow-up period lowered their risk by several percentage points.
- KH Chan et al., PLoS Med, 18, e1003716 (2021). PMID: 34324491.