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Effect of chronic alcohol and tobacco use on retinal nerve fibre layer thickness: a case–control study
  1. Shashi Ahuja1,
  2. Praveen S Kumar1,
  3. Vivek Praveen Kumar1,
  4. Shivanand Kattimani2,
  5. Sujiv Akkilagunta3
  1. 1 Department of Ophthalmology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
  2. 2 Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
  3. 3 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
  1. Correspondence to Praveen S Kumar; praveenkumarseth{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Objective To identify the effects of chronic alcohol and/or tobacco use on retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness and to find the association between severity of addiction with RNFL thinning.

Methodology A case–control study was performed in 200 eyes of cases and 200 healthy control eyes. Cases were recruited from deaddiction clinic having history of alcohol and/or tobacco use for at least 5 years. Severity of alcohol and tobacco was graded by Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and Fagerstorm Nicotine Dependence (FTND) scale, respectively. Age-matched and gender-matched individuals attending ophthalmology outpatient department without addiction were recruited as controls. RNFL thickness was measured using Stratus optical coherence tomography (OCT).

Results Statistically significant RNFL thinning was noted in all quadrants except nasal quadrant in the cases. Statistically significant thinning was seen in all quadrants except nasal with increased FTND scale. Thinning was noted in all quadrants with higher AUDIT scale, but this was statistically not significant.

Conclusion Chronic alcohol and tobacco use are likely to cause RNFL thinning. OCT can be used as a screening tool to suspect visual morbidities in chronic tobacco and alcohol users.

  • Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)
  • Fagerstorm Nicotine Dependence (FTND) scale
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Tobacco-alcohol amblyopia

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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