Smoking is injurious to health- it is well-known fact. Smoking can increase the risk of various chronic health issues like cancer, cardiovascular diseases and damaged lungs and kidneys. Now the adverse effect of smoking will not spare your eyes as well. According to a recent study, smoking over 20 cigarettes a day can lead to blindness.
The study was presented by Rutgers University. It highlighted the chronic effect of tobacco smoking on spatial and colour vision. Earlier few more studies were conducted to study the adverse effect of smoking on one's health. These studies noted that long term smoking doubles the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Also read: What Smoking Does To Your Body
The findings were published in the journal Psychiatry Research. The researchers noted significant changes in the red-green and blue-yellow vision of smokers. Smoking was found to be the factor causing lens yellowing and inflammation.
“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.
“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 added.
For the study 71 healthy people who smoked less than 15 cigarettes in their entire lives and 63 people who smoked over 20 cigarettes a day were examined. The participants were between the age of 25 and 45. Before the study, all the participants had a normal vision. After the completion of the study, the participants showed noticeable changes in the vision.
The study also noticed reduced ability to discriminate contrasts and colours among heavy smokers as compared to non-smokers.
If you are a heavy smoker then you must stop immediately to stop its harmful effects on your eyes. Some ways to overcome cigarette cravings are:
- Distract yourself and engage your mind in some other activity that you like
- Chew a gum whenever you feel the need to smoke again
- Call a friend to distract your mind
- Drink more water throughout the day
- Exercise regularly to keep your mind fresh throughout the day
- Carry a snack with which you can munch to keep your mouth busy
- Take deep breaths for a few minutes
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