Heavy Smokers Risk Being Left Without Color Vision

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Heavy Smokers Risk Being Left Without Color Vision
Heavy Smokers Risk Being Left Without Color Vision

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Heavy smokers risk being left without color vision

Scientists associate the deterioration of color vision in smokers with the effect of toxins on certain structures of the brain and retina.

Heavy smokers risk being left without color vision
Heavy smokers risk being left without color vision

Photo: Chad Strohmeyer /

Heavy smoking, more than 20 cigarettes a day, can damage your eyesight. This conclusion was made by scientists from Rutgers University, the results of the study were published in the journal Psychiatry Research.

The new study involved 71 healthy people who had smoked less than 15 cigarettes in their entire life, and 63 people who smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day, and did not even try to quit smoking. The participants were between 25 and 45 years old and had either normal or corrected (glasses, lenses) vision.

The researchers examined how participants differentiated between levels of contrast (subtle hues) and colors on a monitor. The data they obtained indicate significant changes in the red-green and blue-yellow ranges of the color vision of smokers. This suggests that exposure to neurotoxic substances from cigarette smoking can cause loss of color vision. Scientists also found that heavy smokers were less able to distinguish colors and shades than non-smokers.

“Cigarette smoke is made up of numerous compounds that are harmful to health. It is associated with thinning of the brain structures, as well as its damage, including the area of ​​the frontal lobe, which plays a role in voluntary movement and control of thinking, and decreased activity in the area of ​​the brain that processes visual images, "- said study co-author Stephen Silverstein. Steven Silverstein).

Previous studies have shown that long-term smoking doubles the risk of age-related macular degeneration and is a factor in the yellowing and inflammation of the lens.

Although the study does not provide a specific physiological explanation for these findings, Silverstein argues that this is because nicotine and smoking in general harm the vascular system, damaging the blood vessels and neurons in the retina.

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