Tuesday November 12, 2019

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

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)

Next Story

Quit Smoking Else Develop Depression Or Schizophrenia

Study says that smoking cigarettes can increase the risk of developing depression

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Developing depression
Quit smoking as researchers have found that tobacco smoking may increase your risk of developing depression and schizophrenia. Pixabay

If you are a regular smoker, quit now as researchers have found that tobacco smoking may increase your risk of developing depression and schizophrenia.

“Individuals with mental illness are often overlooked in our efforts to reduce smoking prevalence, leading to health inequalities,” said study lead author Robyn Wootton from the University of Bristol.

“Our work shows that we should be making every effort to prevent smoking initiation and encourage smoking cessation because of the consequences to mental health as well as physical health,” Wootton added.

For the study, published in the journal Psychological Medicine, the research team used UK Biobank data from 462,690 individuals of European ancestry, comprising 8 per cent current smokers and 22 per cent former smokers.

Smokers suffering form depression
Smoking can have adverse effects on mental health and develops the risk of depression. Pixabay

The team applied an analytic approach called Mendelian randomisation, which uses genetic variants associated with an exposure (e.g. smoking) to support stronger conclusions about cause-and-effect relationships.

“The increasing availability of genetic data in large studies, together with the identification of genetic variants associated with a range of behaviours and health outcomes, is transforming our ability to use techniques such as Mendelian randomisation to understand causal pathways,” said study senior author Marcus Munafò.

“What this shows is that genetic studies can tell us as much about environmental influences – in this case the effects of smoking on mental health – as about underlying biology,” Munafo added.

Read Also-Smoking Increases Facial Ageing, Says Study

The research also suggests that smoking can have adverse effects on mental health.This new evidence adds further weight to support the implementation of smoke-free policies.

Not only is there evidence that smoking can be detrimental to mental health, but much of the excess mortality associated with depression is due to smoking, the study added. (IANS)