We have all heard about the dangers of smoking – it can harm every organ in the body and that includes the eyes.
Generally when we think of smoking and what it does to us, its usually something to do with our lungs, but smoking can actually damage eyesight faster than a disease. Here are some of the ways smoking can damage our eyes
Increased Risk Of Cataracts
Cataracts are the worlds leading cause of blindness – smoking generally doubles the risk of developing them, or triples the risk if you are a heavy smoker. The first signs of Cataracts include the blurring of vision, ghosting of images or double vision and reduction of contrast and colour perception.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is a leading cause of blindness, which usually starts with blind spots, reading comes more difficult, faces become harder to recognise. The risk of AMD is increased by three times if you are a smoker. The good news is, quitting smoking at any age, even later in life, can significantly reduce your risk of developing AMD.
Secondhand Smoke and Vision
Secondhand smoke, is known to be incredibly dangerous to anyone around the smoker. It can also harm the vision of those around the smoker – this is most likely to affect infants and young children.
Smoking and Diabetic Retinopathy
Smoking increases the risk of developing diabetes by 30-40% and increases the progression of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes causes damage to the blood vessels in the retina, which then bleed into the eye. If not carefully managed, diabetes can starve the light-sensitive cells in the retina of oxygen and lead to blindness.
Time to quit?
There is some good news – smoking is the most preventable cause of vision loss, as you can choose to quit or never start. Even if you have been smoking for a long time, quitting at any age can significantly reduce the risk of health complications. To kickstart your journey to quitting, take part in Stoptober 2018.
Look After Your Vision
If you are looking to quit smoking, there so many organisations and things that can help. To start your journey to healthier eyes, quit the cigarettes and arrange your consultation, to see what a difference we can make to your vision. If you aren’t quite ready yet, order your free brochure to learn more.