All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Michael S Loop

Advisory Committee Members

Adam Gordon

Timothy W Kraft

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science (MS) School of Optometry


Previous research showed that oral nicotine use in non-smoking color normal individuals significantly improved color discrimination scores on the F-M 100 and both white and red increment thresholds of the Red Test. Our research sought to determine if similar results could be found when oral nicotine was administered to color deficient individuals. Ten color deficient individuals were first screened with both the HRR and Nagel Anomaloscope. Next, the F-M 100 and Red Test were performed before and after chewing nicotine gum (four mg). Subjects were introduced to testing procedures in one visit; a second visit, at least 24 hours later, involved nicotine administration with baseline values and data through 30 minutes of use. While color normal individuals significantly improved on both the F-M 100 and the Red Test with most improvement on the red portion, color deficient individuals significantly improved equally on both white and red portions of the Red Test but showed no reliable improvement on the F-M 100. Baseline color discrimination and age were considered in explaining who might benefit most from nicotine gum but neither showed any correlation. The effect of nicotine gum on Red Test values showed the greatest improvements in the first 10 minutes with gradual improvement the last 20 minutes. It is possible that color normal individuals gained advantage on the F-M 100 after nicotine gum use because their wavelength opponent systems showed greater improvement than their non-wavelength opponent systems; this is speculated to increase color saturation. Color deficient individuals gained no advantage on the F-M 100 because both wavelength opponent and non-wavelength opponent systems increased equally resulting in no change in color saturation. Therefore, nicotine gum use may not be an effective treatment for the color deficient.

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