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Cases of Glaucoma show a rising trend in India, can be caused by Smoking: Doctors

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A patient suffering from Glaucoma, VOA
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New Delhi, March 19, 2017: As cases of glaucoma show a rising trend in India, ophthalmologists blame smoking as one of the major reasons behind it.

Besides glaucoma, several other eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), can also be caused or aggravated due to smoking, but only 10-20 per cent people are aware of these facts, they said.

Stating that lifestyle matters a lot for eye-related diseases, the doctors said research papers have proved that smoking increases the risk of AMD and glaucoma.

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“Smoking is very much connected to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and dry eye syndrome,” Kamal B. Kapur, from Sharp Sight Group of Eye Hospitals, told IANS.

Kapur said that people who do not smoke, but become passive smokers, also are prone to develop AMD.

Glaucoma is a disease that damages eye’s optic nerve, while AMD causes loss in the centre of the field of vision. In dry macular degeneration, the centre of the retina deteriorates. With wet macular degeneration, leaky blood vessels grow under the retina.

AMD begins as a loss of central vision which makes it difficult to read and see fine details. Over time, vision loss increases significantly.

Mahipal Sachdev, Chairperson and Managing Director of city-based Centre for Sight, said: “Vision loss due to smoking does not have any symptoms like many other eye diseases, but a dilated examination can detect eye diseases in their early stages before vision loss occurs.”

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Some other types of eye-related problems caused by excessive smoking include cataract.

“People, who smoke in excess like 10 cigarettes a day, have up to three times the risk of cataract as non-smokers. Similarly, there is a strong nexus between glaucoma and smoking,” said Sachdev.

The doctors said that there is a special need for awareness among people about the strong link between smoking and vision loss.

“In the first place, smoking has to be brought down, which actually leads to the damage of not just lungs and throat but gradually, the eye nerves also get damaged,” said Samir Sud, a city-based ophthalmologist.

Talking about the dietary habits, he said that nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamins C and E might help ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataract due to smoking. (IANS)

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Smoking marijuana may lead non-smokers to cigarettes

As cannabis use is much more common than cannabis use disorder, its potential impact on cigarette use in the general community may be greater than estimates based on studies of cannabis use disorder alone, the researchers said

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lung cancer
Cigarette smoking is injurious to health. Pixabay

If you only smoke marijuana there are higher chances that you may end up smoking cigarettes too, a new study suggests. According to the researchers, cannabis use is associated with an increased initiation of cigarette smoking among non-cigarette smokers.

While cigarette smoking has long been on the decline, marijuana use is on the rise and, disproportionately, marijuana users also smoke cigarettes, the researcher said.

Marijuana use can increase cigarette use too. VOA

“Understanding the potential links between cannabis use and cigarette initiation in youth is needed given that recent data suggest that cannabis use is more common among adolescents than cigarette use,” said co-author Renee Goodwin from the Mailman School of Public Health.

The analyses for the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, were based on data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions in 2001-2002 and 2004-2005, and responses from 34,639 individuals.

Also Read: Stop smoking and eat healthy to avoid obesity

The results suggested that marijuana use — even in the absence of cannabis use disorder — is associated with increased odds of smoking onset, relapse, and persistence.

They also found adults who smoke cigarettes and use cannabis are less likely to quit smoking cigarettes than those who do not use cannabis. Former smokers who use cannabis are also more likely to relapse to cigarette smoking, the researcher said.

Cigarette smoking can be increased in youngsters due to use of marijuana. Pixabay

“Developing a better understanding of the relationship between marijuana use and cigarette use transitions is critical and timely as cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of premature death and disease, and use of cannabis is on the rise in the US,” Goodwin said.

As cannabis use is much more common than cannabis use disorder, its potential impact on cigarette use in the general community may be greater than estimates based on studies of cannabis use disorder alone, the researchers said. IANS