Smoking tied to severe, frequent ocular symptoms in young people

11 Sep 2023
Smoking tied to severe, frequent ocular symptoms in young people

Among teens and young adults, users of both e-cigarettes and cigarettes are more likely to experience severe and frequent ocular symptoms than abstainers, as reported in a study.

For the study, researchers conducted a survey involving individuals aged 13 to 24 years in the US. A total of 4,351 individuals (mean age 19.1 years, 63.8 percent women) responded, including 2,168 never users, 2,183 ever users, 1,092 past 30-day users, and 919 past 7-day users of e-cigarettes. More than half (55.9 percent) of e-cigarette ever users also used cigarettes (dual users).

Severe to very severe ocular symptoms were reported by between 1.1 percent and 3.9 percent of ever dual users. Of these, between 0.9 percent and 4.3 percent reported having daily symptoms, which were more frequent than the symptoms reported by e-cigarette- or cigarette-only users.

Compared with all other respondents, past 7-day dual users experienced more severe itching (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 2.37, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.36–4.13; p=0.002), redness (AOR, 2.58, 95 percent CI, 1.50–4.46; p=0.001), dryness (AOR, 2.89, 95 percent CI, 1.64–5.08; p<0.001), glare (AOR, 2.56, 95 percent CI, 1.50–4.35; p=0.001), blurriness (AOR, 2.47, 95 percent CI, 1.36–4.50; p=0.003), and headaches (AOR, 2.31,95 percent CI, 1.34–4.00; p=0.003).

Past 7-day dual users also had more frequent pain (AOR, 3.45, 95 percent CI, 2.09–5.68; p<0.001), burning (AOR, 3.08, 95 percent CI, 1.86–5.09; p<0.001), and redness (AOR, 2.72, 95 percent CI, 1.69–4.36; p<0.001).

Meanwhile, past 30-day dual users experienced more severe dryness (AOR, 2.65, 95 percent CI, 1.61–4.36; p<0.001) and more frequent pain (AOR, 3.33, 95 percent CI, 2.12–5.21; p<0.001) compared with all other participants.

Compared with never users, ever dual users had more severe dryness (AOR, 1.60, 95 percent CI, 1.05–2.43; p=0.03) and blurriness (AOR, 1.79, 95 percent CI, 1.21–2.64; p=0.003) and more frequent pain (AOR, 1.69, 95 percent CI, 1.13–2.53; p=0.01) and blurriness (AOR, 1.63, 95 percent CI, 1.13–2.36; p=0.009).

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