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Young Smokers Report More Ocular Symptoms

Teen, young adult users of e-cigarettes and cigarettes more likely to have severe, frequent ocular symptoms

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Sept. 5, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Adolescents and young adult users of both electronic cigarettes and cigarettes have a higher likelihood of experiencing severe and frequent ocular symptoms, according to a study published online Aug. 31 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Anne X. Nguyen, M.D., from McGill University in Montreal, and colleagues examined the frequency and severity of ocular symptoms (ocular discomfort, pain, burning, itching, redness, dryness, glare, blurriness, strain, and headaches) in 4,351 young e-cigarette and cigarette users (aged 13 to 24 years).

The researchers found that 1.1 to 3.9 percent of ever dual users reported severe to very severe ocular symptoms, and 0.9 to 4.3 percent reported daily symptoms, which was higher than the proportion of symptoms in e-cigarette- or cigarette-only users. More severe itching (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.37; P = 0.002), redness (aOR, 2.58; P = 0.001), dryness (aOR, 2.89; P < 0.001), glare (aOR, 2.56; P = 0.001), blurriness (aOR, 2.47; P = 0.003), and headaches (aOR, 2.31; P = 0.003) and more frequent pain (aOR, 3.45; P < 0.001), burning (aOR, 3.08; P < 0.001), and redness (aOR, 2.72; P < 0.001) were seen for past seven-day dual users versus all other participants. Compared with all other participants, past 30-day dual users had more severe dryness (aOR, 2.65; P < 0.001) and more frequent pain (aOR, 3.33; P < 0.001).

“These findings provide additional reasons for users of e-cigarettes and cigarettes to reduce their tobacco use to possibly prevent or minimize ocular symptoms,” the authors write.

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