Smoking can harm your eyes
Smoking and the eyes
Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death. It harms nearly every organ in your body — including your eyes.
Adverse — and often fatal — health effects of cigarette smoking such as heart disease and cancer are all too familiar, but sight-threatening vision and eye problems generally are less well-known.
Here are more reasons you should kick the habit:
Smoking and Cataracts
Cataracts (clouding of the eye’s natural lens) are a leading cause of blindness in the world. Smokers significantly increase their risk of developing a cataract compared with non-smokers. In fact, studies show that people who smoke double their chance of forming cataracts, and the risk continues to increase the more you smoke.
Smoking and Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the centre of the retina, which is responsible for sharp, central vision needed for everyday tasks such as reading and driving.
Macular degeneration causes “blind spots” and often severely impairs central vision. Studies show smokers can have a three-fold increase in the risk of developing AMD compared with people who have never smoked. And female smokers over age 80 are 5.5 times more likely to develop AMD than non-smokers of the same age.
But it’s not all bad news: because smoking is the biggest controllable risk factor associated with AMD, quitting smoking at any age, even later in life, can significantly reduce your risk of developing AMD.
Smoking and Uveitis
Uveitis (inflammation of the eye’s middle layer, or uvea) is a serious eye disease that can result in complete vision loss.
It harms vital structures of the eye, including the iris and retina, and can lead to complications such as cataract, glaucoma and retinal detachment.
Evidence shows smokers are more likely than non-smokers to have uveitis, and smoking appears linked to the development of uveitis. One study found smoking was associated with a 2.2 times greater than normal risk of having the condition.
Smoking and Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy damages the blood vessels of the retina and can result in vision loss.
Smoking may as much as double the risk of developing diabetes.
There also is a causal relationship between smoking and both the development and progression of diabetic retinopathy, in addition to numerous other diabetes complications.
Smoking and Dry Eyes
Dry eye syndrome describes insufficient tears on the eye’s surface, which are needed to keep the eye lubricated and healthy. Sufferers of dry eye can experience eye redness, itchiness, a “foreign body” sensation and even watery eyes.
Tobacco smoke is a known eye irritant and worsens dry eye — even among second-hand smokers — particularly for contact lens wearers. People who smoke are nearly twice as likely to have dry eyes.
Smoking and Infant Eye Disease
Women who smoke during pregnancy transmit dangerous toxins to the placenta, potentially harming the unborn child. Smoking while pregnant increases the chance of many foetal and infant eye disorders, among other serious health problems.
Are You Ready To Quit?
It’s never too late to quit smoking and enjoy the benefits of a healthier lifestyle and, ultimately, a healthier body. Quitting smoking at any age can reduce your risk of developing many sight-threatening eye conditions. For help and advice visit: http://want2stop.info/