Lifestyle Effects on Ocular Health

  • Nisar Latif

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Some lifestyle aspects may be a risk factor for certain diseases. However, short-term exposure of risk factors may not cause the disease but rather chronic exposure. In the case of eye health exposure to sunlight has been mentioned as a potential risk factor to pterygium, cateract, and macular degeneration for example. Dietary intake has been suggested as having a protective role in patients who are at risk of dry eye, cataract and age related macular degeneration. Poor dietary habits have also been linked as a potential risk factor in cataract but the literature is more restricted. Smoking is renowned as a risk factor in many systemic conditions and has been linked to ocular pathology.

The lifestyle effects that will be explored in this thesis are dietary intake, ultraviolet radiation exposure and whether someone is a smoker. The methods used to assess the effects of these three elements will be assessment of the tear film, lens function and macula pigment.

This thesis conveys the detrimental effects of smoking on tear film characteristics and a relationship was shown between the amounts that an individual smokes with the level of potential dry eye disease. The dietary intake was positively related to lower subjective symptoms of dry eye disease, and linked to amplitudes of accomodation, but there was no relationship found between diet and macular pigment. In one cohort used in this thesis a harmful effect of ultraviolet radiation exposure was seen with tear film. In the final experimental chapter, a transient effect of smoking was noted on tear film and amplitude of accomodation, and on pupil size.

There are indications for future work, however there are some useful take home messages for patients and especially for clinicians involved in eye health or policy makers in the arena of public health.
Date of AwardJun 2019
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorShehzad Naroo (Supervisor) & Frank Eperjesi (Supervisor)


  • Smoking
  • tear film
  • amplitude of accomodation
  • diet
  • transient effects on the eye

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