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New research finds poppers may cause lasting eye damage

New research carried out has found that using poppers may cause permanent eye damage.

The study, carried out at Cheltenham General Hospital in the UK, found that the legal high could have a “serious affect” on vision.

A key ingredient in the high, isobutylene nitrite was changed out for isopropyl nitrite in 2006 after it was linked with causing cancer.

However, the replacement chemical is now believed to have an impact of the fovea, a part of the retina that is crucial to central vision.

Dr Rebecca Rewbury said that the “mounting body of evidence” had a clear conclusion in that poppers can have a “serious effect on central vision”.

Dr Rewbury explained that users some health workers were likely to be “unaware of the risk”.

Rewbury and her team at the hospital tracked 12 men of ages ranging between 31 and 59 after they reported issues of blurriness or blind spots after using the drug which has grown to be popular as a party drug and sex aide.

They found that there was “incredible damage” to cells in the eyes as a result of using the drug.

After the study most of the men made a full recovery once they stopped using poppers.

Dr Richard Spaide reviewed the findings and conceded that “poppers cause rapid widespread dilation of blood vessels – this is thought to cause the ‘rush that users like”.

Dr Rewbury concluded that although damage could be “resolved”, symptoms could be “prolonged” and “the visual effects of chronic use of the newer brands of poppers are unknown.”

The study called for a reassessment of the level of harm that poppers could cause, after the UK government ditched plans to band the legal high last year.

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