Beware of Tobacco- causes blindness

Beware of Tobacco- causes blindness

Beware of Tobacco- causes blindness

Alert for Chennai people, there is a another reason which advices people not to consume tobacco because a study by a reputed eye hospital in Chennai reveals that chewing tobacco causes blindness.

Dr Rajiv Raman, senior consultant, Sankara Nethralaya, one of the members of the research team reveals studies in West shows smoking is considered to be risk factor for early age blindness(MACULOPATHY), a condition where it affects the central vision of the eye due to chewing tobacco.

In Maculopathy, the macula, a part of the eye near the centre of the retina is affected where it clarity and causes blurness.

3 year study by the Vision Research Centre of Sankara Nethralaya titled Rural-Urban Age-related Macular Degeneration published last week in ‘Eye’, a science journal in the UK.

The study has discovered 2 independent modifiable risk factors


Age Related Maculopathy was more prevalent in individuals in the higher socioeconomic groups in the urban population.

Dr Tarun Sharma, director of Vitreoretinal Services of Sankara Nethralaya conducted a study within the period of  2009 and 2011 with group pf people in the size of 6,617 – 3,904 (60 per cent) rural chosen from  Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur districts around 16 villages and 2,713 (40 per cent) urban.

The study found that the prevalence of smokeless tobacco was almost two times in the rural population when compared with urban population (27.9 per cent vs 13.7 per cent), and this could be the probable reason for higher prevalence of early  Age Related Maculopathy  in the rural areas (21 per cent as opposed to 16 per cent). The prevalence of late  Age Related Maculopathy  was two per cent in both rural and urban populations.

estimates shows 275 million people in India are typical users of tobacco. smoking is one of the risk factors of Age-related Macular Degeneration among the Western population due to genetics and environmental issues

Dr Raman says that the study shows that this is the first Indian study to depict smokeless tobacco causes AMD(Age Related Maculopathy).

effort should be taken for the prevention and early diagnosis so that we can minimise the risk of visual morbidity. Have a control of blood pressure and avoid intake of tobacco  and try to create awareness on tobacco.