Thursday December 12, 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

Smoking and Stress Lead to Greying of Hair: Experts

Stress, smoking cause early greying of hair

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Too much of stress can increase ageing. Pixabay

With your first grey strand comes ageing, but it could also be a sign of too much stress, say experts.

“Premature greying can be a sign of excessive stress as it is one of the significant causes; under pressure, one constricts the blood vessels hampering the healthy flow of nutrients to the scalp resulting in hair fall and greying.

“Stress also reduces oxygen supply to the scalp as breathing, and is also one of the major causes of aging and premature greying, dull, and scanty hair,” Rajni Ohri, Founder, Ohria Ayurveda said.

Although ageing is natural, and should be accepted with grace, one cannot control the process of ageing and worrying about it will only further stress.

Mohit Narang, Skincare expert, AVON says that greying of hair can also happen due to smoking. “People who smoke regularly have higher chances of premature greying, as can a lack of nutrition. A diet deficient in vitamins and minerals can lead to early greying.”

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Along with stress, smoking can also cause greying of hair strands. Lifetime Stock

How to tackle the menace of premature greying of hair?

Ayurvedic hair oils are beneficial for slowing greying. If used regularly they delay greying even in old age. Ingredients that assist keeping the hair pigment intact are amla, onion seeds, bhringraj, henna, sesame, curry leaves.

Dried amla can be used to fight premature greying. Cut them into pieces and dry them in the sun; once dry, roast it in the pan and then mix with coconut oil. Apply the mixture on your hair overnight.

Apart from repairing natural hair color, onion juice also helps treat hair loss and thinning. For best results, mix onion juice with lemon juice. Apply the mixture evenly on the scalp and hair. Leave it on for 15- 25 minutes and then wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Make this your routine for at least two weeks.

Curry leaves darken your hair by restoring the natural melanin pigment so that hair becomes dark again. The leaves also help in preventing and treating as curry leaves are rich in Vitamin B and minerals like iodine, zinc and iron.

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Consume a nutritional diet rich in Vitamins B12, B9, Iron, Folic acid. Include amla, beetroot, green leafy vegetables and nuts like soaked almonds, anjeer, walnuts, and soaked sesame seeds.

Practice yoga for healthy blood flow to the scalp. Practice ‘Pranayam’ to keep the mind calm and relaxed.

Quit smoking, or at least reduce the instances of smoking. (IANS)