Heavy Smoking Linked to Damaged Spatial, Color Vision

FRIDAY, March 1, 2019 — Heavy smoking is associated with damaged vision, according to a study published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research.

Thiago P. Fernandes, Ph.D., from the Neuroscience and Behavior Laboratory in Joao Pessoa, Brazil, and colleagues assessed the impact of chronic smoking on spatial and color vision among 71 healthy controls and 63 individuals with tobacco addiction (smoked >20 cigarettes a day; mean age, 34.7 years) who were matched for age, gender, and level of education. Contrast sensitivity for linear sine-wave gratings and color discrimination (using the Ellipse and Trivector subtests) were used to assess visual processing.

The researchers found that heavy smokers had reduced sensitivity for all spatial frequencies and impairments in color discrimination for both Trivector and Ellipse.

“These results indicate that excessive use of cigarettes, or chronic exposure to their compounds, affects visual discrimination, supporting the existence of overall deficits in visual processing in tobacco addiction,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

Posted: March 2019

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