To put a final word on the long debate of whether it’s better to be a cat person or a dog person, a new study reveals your precious kitteh could actually boost your chances of developing the eye disease glaucoma. The eye condition, which is the No. 2 cause of blindness worldwide, develops when fluid cannot drain properly and builds up in the eyeball.
The study, done at UCLA and published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, found that people with glaucoma had significantly higher levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE) to cats and cockroaches, The Washington Post reports. IgE is an antibody that our bodies produce as an allergic response (although it does not mean the person has allergies).
However, IgE levels for dog allergies were much lower than even the levels of those without glaucoma. The researchers suggest that cat and cockroach allergens may specifically trigger antibodies targeting the optic nerve, and that the different responses from dogs may be due to the increased amount of time they spend outdoors with their pooch. As the UK’s Daily Mail explained, overall these findings suggest that the immune system could play a role in glaucoma,
Good news for dog lovers: The drop in IgE from dogs suggests that maybe owning a dog could help decrease your risk of developing the disease. Excuse me as I go adopt a puppy and convince my boyfriend we need it to keep our eyes healthy.
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