24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825
Fax: (361)578-5500

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
1 in 3 U.S. Parents Won't Get Flu Shots for Their Kids: SurveyKids Much Less Prone to Coronavirus Infection Than Adults: StudyImmune System Clues to Why COVID Is Easier on KidsFDA Warns of Danger From 'Benadryl Challenge,' Asks TikTok to Remove VideosAfter COVID-19 Exposure, When Can Young Athletes Resume Play?Kids Who Need Steroids Face Risk of Diabetes, Other IllsMom-to-Be's Pot Use Linked With Higher Odds for Kids' Mental WoesKids Often Hit Hard by Death of Beloved Pet, Study FindsHolidays Can Be a Fright for Kids With Food AllergiesHow to Help Ensure Your Students Get Enough SleepAs Schools Reopen, Many Students, Staff Live With High-Risk Family MemberBlack Kids at Higher Odds for ADHDProbiotic Might Help Ease Children's EczemaMore Than 1 in 3 U.S. Pediatricians Dismiss Vaccine-Refusing FamiliesDeath From COVID-19 Very Rare for Americans 21 and Under: ReportAre School Lunches a Ticket to Healthy Eating?Fewer Kids May Be Carrying Coronavirus Without Symptoms Than Believed: StudyAre At-Home 'Learning Pods' the Right Fit for Your Family?Kids at 2 Utah Day Cares Easily Spread COVID to FamiliesChildren Use Both Sides of the Brain to Understand LanguagePlaying Football at Young Age Doesn't Slow Concussion Recovery in CollegeYouth Vaping Down, But Still Popular: CDCOver Half a Million U.S. Kids Already Infected With COVID-19Rates of Child Hospitalization Similar Between COVID-19, Flu: StudyFirst Trial of Gene-Targeted Asthma Rx in Kids Shows PromiseKids Can Have Coronavirus And Antibodies at Same Time: StudyKeep School Sports Safe During PandemicCOVID-19 Precautions Extend to Car Seats, Seat BeltsAHA News: How to Keep Kids Active While Learning From Home – and Why That's VitalDoes TV And Computer Time Affect Kids' Math, Reading?Kids, Teens Usually Have Mild COVID-19 Infections, Rarely Fatal Ones: StudyUSDA Extends Free School Meals Program Amid PandemicTime Spent in Nature Boosts Kids' Well-BeingSweet-Tooth Tendencies Change as Kids Get Older: StudyA Guide to Managing Children's Diabetes During COVID-19U.S. COVID Cases Pass 6 Million, With Infections Rising in YouthsArtificial Pancreas Controls Diabetes in Kids 6 and Up, Clinical Trial ShowsAHA News: As the Coronavirus Upends Schools, Experts Say Don't Forget the ArtsOne Pandemic Silver Lining: Fewer Severe Asthma Attacks in KidsPandemic Learning Can Strain Children's EyesObesity in Youth Could Be Big Risk Factor for MSDon't Count on Vitamin D to Ease Childhood AsthmaHow to Keep Your Kids Trim Through QuarantineFlu Shots for Kids Protect Everybody, Study ShowsPlay It Safe With Allergies, Asthma During Pandemic School YearAnorexia Often Stunts Girls' Growth, Study FindsHelp Your Child Cope With Back-to-School JittersHigh Viral Loads Make Kids 'Silent Spreaders' of COVID-19Many Child Abuse Cases May Be Going Unreported During PandemicPharmacists in All U.S. States Can Give Kids Childhood Shots
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)

Secondhand Smoke May Harm Kids' Eyes

HealthDay News
by By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Oct 21st 2019

new article illustration

MONDAY, Oct. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking around kids may harm their vision as their eyes are still developing, a new study suggests.

Secondhand smoke has long been linked to increased risks for cancer and stroke in adults, and asthma, lung infections and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in children, according to the American Cancer Society. Now, added to these is the risk of changes in the eye that may cause vision problems in kids.

Specifically, researchers in Hong Kong found that children who were exposed to secondhand smoke had thinning in the choroid, a layer of tissue that contains tiny blood vessels that nourish the eye.

"Our results suggest a potential harmful effect of secondhand smoking on children's ocular health and development," said lead researcher Dr. Jason Yam, an associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

One possible result of the thinning is maculopathy, a progressive loss of central vision, usually in both eyes, he said.

This study, however, doesn't prove that secondhand smoke causes the choroid to thin, only that the two are linked.

For the study, Yam and his colleagues measured choroidal thickness in 1,400 children, ages 6 to 8, some of whom had been exposed to secondhand smoke.

They found that children exposed to secondhand smoke had a thinner choroid than others.

The degree of thinning was directly related to the amount of secondhand smoke children were exposed to, Yam said. Exposure to smoke from one cigarette per day was linked with roughly a half-micron of thinning, the researchers found. A micron is one-millionth of a meter.

On average, children exposed to secondhand smoke had choroids that were 8 microns thinner in the center and 6 to 7 microns thinner at the edges than kids who had not been exposed.

Parents who smoked also had thinner choroids, Yam's team found.

The findings are concerning, according to Dr. Luxme Hariharan, a pediatric ophthalmologist at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami. The ages 6 to 8 are a key stage in vision development, she said.

"Once you're 10, changes can be permanent," Hariharan said. "Anything abnormal can cause a permanent problem in the visual pathway as it's forming -- that's why this age group is key."

Although it isn't proven that secondhand smoke causes permanent eye damage, it's better if kids aren't around it, Hariharan said.

"In general, it's probably not a good idea to have our kids exposed to it," she said. "But we still need to look at the exact causal relationships."

Hariharan noted that exposure to secondhand smoke puts adults at risk for age-related macular degeneration and other vision problems. This study says the possibility of damage to kids' eyes also can't be ruled out, she added.

"We have to protect kids, so I would encourage parents and families to be careful," Hariharan said.

The report was published online Oct. 17 in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology.

More information

To learn more about the effects of secondhand smoke, visit the American Cancer Society.