Cadmium exposure was among the factors associated with increased risk of impaired contrast sensitivity.
Bottom Line: Contrast sensitivity is a measure of how well someone sees an image against a background.
Understanding what might contribute to a decrease in contrast sensitivity is important. An observational study of nearly 2,000 people taking part in an ongoing study of aging examined whether exposure to the heavy metals cadmium and lead was associated with increased risk of impaired contrast sensitivity.
‘Diminished contrast sensitivity can impact daily life because common low-contrast conditions include low light, fog or glare.’
Cadmium exposure typically happens through inhaling cigarette smoke and eating green leafy vegetables, rice and shellfish. Limitations of the study include that no definitive conclusions can be drawn and that the association could be due to another element of cigarette smoking.