The Effect of Smoking on the Ocular Surface, Tear Film, and Central Corneal Thickness
Keywords:Cigarette smoking, Ocular surface, Dry eye, Central Corneal Thickness, Speed Dry Eye
Background: As a global health issue, smoking is a growing concern for Saudi Arabia and the world. It is known that exposure to harmful chemicals in cigarettes can affect the anterior ocular surface. Main purpose: The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of smoking on the central corneal thickness and the ocular surface parameters at smokers. It also compares the results with those of non-smokers and passive smokers. Materials and Methods: A cross?sectional study was adopted and comprised 118 participants: 50 smokers, and 68 non-smokers. The goal of the Speed II Questionnaire was to assess the severity of ocular surface disease symptoms. Participants were tested using various methods, such as the Schirmer's II test, tear Meniscus height (TMH), the Non-Invasive Break-Up Time (NIK-BUT), and Central corneal thickness (CCT). Results: The difference in Schirmer's scores and those of the other parameters were statistically significant. The mean values of all dry eye parameters were also different between the groups of smokers and non-smokers. The mean Corvis ST was less for both right and left eyes, but this difference was not significant. The dry eye symptoms (Dryness, Grittiness or Scratchiness, Soreness or Irritation, Burning or Watering, and Eye Fatigue) showed a statistically significant association among groups (p <0.01). Conclusion: Cigarette smoking causes dry eye parameters like Schirmer test score, TMH, and TBUT to deteriorate. Also, we found a strong correlation among groups and dry eye symptoms in terms of frequency and severity. The smoker group had the most suffering of dry eye symptoms in terms of frequency and severity. However, CCT was discovered to be unrelated to smoking. More researches are needed to identify the molecular basis of the relationship between smoking intensity and its effect on the tear film and corneal thickness in terms of free radicals.
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