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The chronic use of cigarettes causes toxic and oxidative effects on the visual system, which can cause changes in color vision. Although there are studies on the harmful effects of tobacco in active smokers, the literature on secondhand/passive smokers (or environmental tobacco smoke) is still scarce. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the ability of color vision in active and passive smokers. This is a cross-sectional observational study in which 103 individuals were divided pseudorandomly into 3 groups: control group (CG) n = 44 individuals (72 eyes), with a mean age of 28.65 ± 7.90; group of passive smokers (GPS) n = 28 (56 eyes), mean age 28.74 ± 9.42; group of active smokers (GAS) n = 31 (60 eyes), mean age 34.91 ± 11.30. The psychophysical evaluation of color vision was performed using the Ishihara pseudoisochromatic plates, the computer program of the Freiburg Visual Acuity & Contrast Test, version 3.7, and the desaturated Lanthony D15 ordering test. The results indicate that there was no correlation in GAS and GPS with age, time of exposure to tobacco and daily consumption. It was observed that both GAS and GPS showed changes in visual acuity (P <0.05), and only GPS showed changes in color vision (P <0.05); GFP showed a deficit in visual acuity and worse color vision when compared to GAS (P <0.05). These results are discussed in relation to the biochemical and pathophysiological effects that exposure to cigarettes may have on the visual system, which would explain the functional changes observed. We conclude that passive and active smokers have impaired color vision and that the psychophysical methods used in this study are effective for the subclinical tracking of changes in color vision.
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