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Colour vision disturbances in chronic smokers

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· Purpose: The aim of the present study was to test the influence of smoking on colour perception. · Subjects and methods: At the University Eye Hospital Tübingen, 76 generally healthy smokers with inconspicuous ophthalmological findings (visual acuity, refraction, intraocular pressure, morphology) were examined by the cap-sorting test, Roth 28-hue desaturated. Group 1 was comprised of smokers (n=20; M 9, F 11; mean age 28.1±10.3 years) with a smoking consumption of less than one packet of cigarettes per day (8.4±5.3 cigarettes/day) for 9.1±8.3 years. Group 2 consisted of smokers (n=32; M 22, F 10; mean age 28.6±9.7 years) with a smoking consumption of one or more than one packet per day (30±8.4 cigarettes/day) for 9.5±8.3 years. Generally healthy and ophthalmologically normal non-smokers served as a control group (n=76; M 41, F 35; mean age 30±9 years). · Results: The average error score of the control group was (median±mean absolute deviation) 42±18. Group 1 showed no difference to the control group (51±27; P=0.42). On the other hand, group 2 had a significantly higher error score than the control group (102±45; P<0.0001). · Conclusion: Otherwise healthy smokers with a cigarette consumption of less than 20 cigarettes per day do not show any disturbances in colour vision. Smokers who consume more than 20 cigarettes per day may suffer colour vision defects as a result.

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Received: 6 February 1998 Revised version received: 20 August 1998 Accepted: 17 September 1998

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Erb, C., Nicaeus, T., Adler, M. et al. Colour vision disturbances in chronic smokers. Graefe's Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 237, 377–380 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004170050247

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  • Visual Acuity
  • Refraction
  • Average Error
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Vision Defect