Cigarette smoke makes color blind
Smoking increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. Most smokers are aware of these risks and the cigarette packets clearly indicate the dangers. A new study has now revealed that smoking cigarettes also damages eyesight. Heavy smokers are particularly at risk.
Researchers at the Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care investigated the effects of long-term smoking on spatial and color vision. The research team found that especially heavy smokers who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day permanently damage their vision. The study results were recently published in the journal "Psychiatry Research".
Color vision and contrast deteriorate due to smoking
The results of the study showed significant changes in the red-green as well as in the blue-yellow color perception in the smokers examined compared to non-smokers. In addition, the smoking participants showed on average less ability to differentiate between contrasts and colors. The researchers conclude that the neurotoxic chemicals in the cigarettes can cause a loss of color vision.
How does cigarette smoke damage eyesight?
Research director Steven Silverstein of Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care explains the process in a press release: "Cigarette smoke consists of numerous harmful compounds." Among other things, the smoke damages the frontal lobes of the brain. This area of the brain plays an essential role in processing information that is absorbed by the eye.
Agreement with other studies
"Previous studies have shown that long-term smoking doubles the risk of age-related macular degeneration and can lead to cloudy eyes and inflammation," reports Silverstein. The current results show that cigarette consumption is generally associated with impaired vision. Another reason to give up smoking better. (vb)