Can poor oral health have an effect on your eyesight?
New research published in the Journal of PLOS ONE connects the oral microbiome with glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness in the world.
Glaucoma is a term for degenerative disease of the eye that frequently leads to irreversible blindness. It most often affects individuals over 40 and can be impacted by inflammatory diseases like diabetes.
In the study, researchers took mouthwash specimens from patients with glaucoma and those without. They found that glaucoma patients had significantly higher levels of bacteria in their mouths.
At the same time, the researchers studied the effects of pathogenic lipopolysaccharides on the progression of glaucoma in animals. They found that “Low-dose LPS administration in glaucoma animal models resulted in enhancement of axonal degeneration and neuronal loss.”
So does the oral microbiome impact glaucoma? According to the study authors, there’s a connection worth exploring further, especially since the mechanisms by which oral bacteria affect the pathology of glaucoma “may also be relevant to other chronic neurodegenerative disorders.”
We already know that there is a significant link between oral bacteria and Alzheimer’s disease, but information from this and future research may also provide a link between the oral microbiome and other devastating conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and ALS.