Smoking and Eye Damage

The dangers smoking pose to your health have been well-documented. However, the link between smoking and eye damage is rarely included in conversations with the more serious consequences such as lung cancer. But by smoking regularly, you dramatically increase your risk of several serious eye conditions.

When you inhale cigarette smoke, you are bringing roughly 4,000 chemicals into your bloodstream. Many of these chemicals are harmful to the health of your eyes and can potentially damage your macula. As a result, smokers face an increased risk of macular degeneration, a condition which may lead to blindness.

In fact, smoking is one of the leading risk factors associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). A study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology revealed that approximately 25% of AMD patients who suffered vision loss were also smokers. Additionally, the study found that people who live in the same house with a smoker for a prolonged period of time are twice as likely to develop AMD.

Another vision condition commonly associated with smoking is cataracts. Studies have shown that people who smoke 15 or more cigarettes per day may be as much as three times more likely develop cataracts than nonsmokers. Smoking increases the oxidative stress in your eye’s natural lens, which ultimately increases the likelihood of cataract formation.

These eye health issues are fairly serious. One of the easiest ways to lower your risk of these conditions is to quit smoking.

Please contact today to find an experienced eye doctor in your area.