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STUDY: Use Of Poppers May Lead To Eye Damage, Loss Of Sight

A report from the UK’s Royal Bolton Hospital claims sniffing poppers may lead to lasting eye damage.

According to the BBC:

Poppers is the street name for a group of chemicals called alkyl nitrites and are used by thousands of clubbers as a stimulant and legal high.

It is illegal to sell them for human consumption but they are often sold in sex shops, clubs and gay bars as “air fresheners”.

Writing in the journal Eye, doctors who carried out the study say some patients have experienced damaged vision after just one dose and are calling for more awareness among users and ophthalmologists.

A man who goes by “Steve” has been using poppers for decades and took part in the study after his doctor was puzzled by his blurred vision.

“They’re used by so many people for a quick high, you really don’t think about the health impacts,” he told the BBC. A recent study on drug use among the British LGBT community by the Lesbian and Gay Foundation found that 1 in 5 had used poppers in the last month.

Royal Bolton Hospital’s report doesn’t suggest that everyone who uses poppers will lose their eyesight but that more needs to be done so potential users can properly weigh the risks. “If there was some sort of warning as with cigarettes and alcohol,” Steve said, “people could make more of an informed choice.”