Risk factors for eye disease and injury: literature review

3.1 Topics for research

Page last updated: December 2008

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      To meet the requirements of the brief, we developed a search strategy based on the following questions relating to eye health:

      1. Risk factors for eye disease and injury
      What is the relationship between the following factors and conditions?
      Factors
      Conditions
    • tobacco use
    • alcohol consumption
    • diet and diet-related issues (obesity, supplements, fatty acids)
    • eye infections
    • age or ageing1
    • heredity
    • UV damage
    • injuries and accidents
    • medication side effects
    • macular degeneration
    • cataract
    • glaucoma
    • diabetic retinopathy
    • retinitis pigmentosa
    • trachoma
    • amblyopia
    • injury
    • refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, astigmatism)
    • pterygium2
    • ocular surface neoplasia2
      2. Eye infections
      Do infection control methods reduce the incidence of eye infections?
      What impact does use of contact lenses have on incidence of eye infections?
      Does education on use and misuse of contact lens affect incidence of eye infections?

      3. Eye tests
      Do regular eye tests reduce the incidence of eye disease?
      What is the optimal frequency of eye tests for each age group?
      What are the risks and benefits of different frequencies of eye tests?
1 In this literature review, a distinction is made between ‘age’, which refers to onset of a condition at a specific age (eg amblyopia in children), and ‘ageing’, which refers to progressive onset as a result of increasing age (eg cataract, age-related macular degeneration) .

2 The only risk factor reviewed for pterygium, and ocular surface neoplasia was UV damage. These two reviews were added to the report in November 2008.
      Where interventions were identified (eg use of sunglasses, eye tests and nutritional supplements), we attempted to look at both the beneficial effects and any possible adverse consequences of the intervention.
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