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September 1963

Tobacco-Alcohol Amblyopia: A Critique of Current Concepts of This Disorder, With Special Reference to the Role of Nutritional Deficiency in Its Causation

Author Affiliations

From the Neurology Service, Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital and the Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1963;70(3):313-318. doi:10.1001/archopht.1963.00960050315006

Tobacco-alcohol amblyopia, the disturbance of vision which so frequently complicates chronic alcoholism and/or the prolonged use of tobacco, has been a topic of continued interest to ophthalmologists. As long ago as 1896, when DeSchweinitz's1 monograph on toxic amblyopia appeared, a large literature was available on this subject, and it is of interest that by that time many of the current clinical and pathological problems associated with tobacco and alcohol amblyopia had already been clearly drawn. Whether or not the disorders associated with tobacco and alcohol were separate entities was a major point of contention. Some of the early authors on this subject (Nettleship,2 Eales,3 Marcus Gunn4) felt that only the toxic effects of tobacco were of etiological importance, and they denied the existence of an amblyopia in drinkers who did not smoke. Connor,5 on the other hand, described an amblyopia symptomatically identical to the one

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