Attention to all the smokers out there, while smoking has been linked to various diseases a recent study conducted in the Rutgers University states that smoking over 20 cigarettes a day can cause blindness The study noted that chronic tobacco smoking can have harmful effects on “spatial and color vision”. The findings, published in the journal Psychiatry Research, noted significant changes in the smokers’ red-green and blue-yellow color vision. This suggests that consuming substances such as cigarettes may cause overall color vision loss.
Heavy smokers also have reduced the ability to discriminate contrasts and colors compared with non-smokers. The results indicate excessive use of cigarettes, affects visual discrimination, supporting the existence of overall deficits in visual processing with tobacco addiction. 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, 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.
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 age group of 25-45. The findings showed noticeable changes in the red-green and blue-yellow color vision of 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.