How Smoking Harms Your Eyes

The Hargrave Eye Center’s latest post:

The most common concern with smoking is the health condition of the lungs. However, the unfortunate reality of smoking is that it affects more than just your your respiration. Smoking harms every organ in your body, even your eyes. If you or someone you know has the habit of smoking, here’s how to see the dangers smoking more clearly, literally.

Cataract Connection

Save yourself the surgery. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness, even though you can treat them or have them surgically removed. No one wants the hassle of surgery. Smoking has been linked to cataracts, and the unfortunate truth is that smokers have a higher risk of developing cataracts than those who don’t smoke.

A myth about cataracts is that they only occur in older ages, however anyone at any age can develop cataracts. Cataracts create a cloud around the eyes’ lenses and blur vision. If you’re a smoker and think your vision is blurry and you simply need glasses, you could be developing cataracts.

Blurred to Blind

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) happens when the central part of the retina has been damaged. Studies have shown that smokers have a much higher chance of developing AMD compared to non-smokers. The harmful chemicals from cigarette smoke affects the retina and could damage it until vision is blurred or lost altogether.

Although smokers are at higher risk for AMD, quitting can significantly lower that risk. Smoking is a hard habit to quit, but the reward of clear vision is worth it.

Got Glasses?

There are other risks to your vision through smoking other than developing cataracts or AMD. Uveitis is the swelling of the eye that causes damage and vision loss. The uvea is the middle layer of your eye that gets damaged. Like cataracts and AMD, smokers are at a greater risk for uveitis.

Another eye condition that can develope in smokers is dry eye syndrome, a lack of moisture in the eye. It may be a common eye condition; however it disrupts your ability to see properly. Burning, itching, and soreness are just a few of the symptoms of dry eye. When not taken care of, it can lead to blurred vision.

If you’re looking to reduce the risk of developing eye conditions, the time is now. Smoking is a hard habit to quit, but will lower the risk of vision loss or impairment. Clear the toxic habit, and you clear your eyes. Maintaining your vision is more important than any cigarette is.

from Hargrave Eye Center |Ocular Health Experts


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