Tuesday March 26, 2019

Excess Smoking Can Not Just Cause Cancer But Also Blindness

Heavy smokers also have reduced ability to discriminate contrasts and colours compared with non-smokers.

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"Cigarette smoke consists of numerous compounds that are harmful, and it has been linked to a reduction in the thickness of layers in the brain, and to brain lesions, involving areas such as the frontal lobe, which plays a role in voluntary movement and control of thinking, and a decrease in activity in the area of the brain that processes vision," he said. Pixabay

While excessive smoking has been linked to various health issues, including heart disease and cancer, a new study has warned that smoking over 20 cigarettes a day can cause blindness.

The study from the Rutgers University noted that chronic tobacco smoking can have harmful effects on “spatial and colour vision”.

The findings, published in the journal Psychiatry Research, noted significant changes in the smokers’ red-green and blue-yellow colour vision. This suggests that consuming substances with neurotoxic chemicals, such as those in cigarettes, may cause overall colour vision loss.

Heavy smokers also have reduced ability to discriminate contrasts and colours compared with non-smokers.

“Our results indicate excessive use of cigarettes, or chronic exposure to their compounds, affects visual discrimination, supporting the existence of overall deficits in visual processing with tobacco addiction,” said Steven Silverstein from the Rutgers’s Behavioral Health Care.

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Heavy smokers also have reduced ability to discriminate contrasts and colours compared with non-smokers. Pixabay

“Cigarette smoke consists of numerous compounds that are harmful, and it has been linked to a reduction in the thickness of layers in the brain, and to brain lesions, involving areas such as the frontal lobe, which plays a role in voluntary movement and control of thinking, and a decrease in activity in the area of the brain that processes vision,” he said.

For the study, the team looked at 71 healthy people who smoked less than 15 cigarettes in their entire lives and 63 people, who smoked over 20 cigarettes a day. The participants were in the 25-45 year age group.

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The study’s findings showed noticeable changes in the red-green and blue-yellow colour vision of the heavy smokers.

Previous studies had also pointed to long-term smoking as doubling the risk for age-related macular degeneration and as a factor causing lens yellowing and inflammation. (IANS)

Next Story

Passive Smoking May Raise The Chances of Kidney Disease

The global health body states that of the seven million lives that tobacco claims worldwide each year, almost 900,000 are passive-smokers

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Besides affecting your heart and lungs, exposure to second-hand or passive smoking can also raise the chances of chronic kidney disease (CKD), which can lead to renal failure, warns a new study.

The findings showed that individuals with less or more than 3 days of exposure per week had nearly double the risk of having kidney disease when compared with participants with no second-hand cigarette exposure.

“Second-hand smoke exposure at home or in the workplace is still prevalent despite legislative actions prohibiting public smoking,” said Jung Tak Park from Yonsei University in Seoul.

“This exposure was found to be clearly related with CKD, even with less-frequent amounts of second-hand smoke exposure,” Park added.

Smoking pregnant lady outside hospital.

For the study, published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the team included 131,196 non-smokers and were classified into three groups: no-exposure, less than three days per week of exposure, and three or more days per week of exposure.

Cigarette smoking and exposure to second-hand smoking have been linked with higher risks of various diseases.

Also Read- Alzheimer’s Drug Holds Promise For Rare Neurological Disease, Suggest Researchers

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), smoking tobacco is globally the second leading cause of heart diseases after high blood pressure.Nearly 12 per cent of cardiovascular deaths worldwide occur due to tobacco abuse and second-hand smoking.

The global health body states that of the seven million lives that tobacco claims worldwide each year, almost 900,000 are passive-smokers. (IANS)