The health problems associated with smoking are well documented and remains the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. The damaging effects it can have on your eyes and ultimately your vision are often not talked about.
Research has shown tobacco use can contribute to certain vision threatening conditions. If you continue to smoke here’s 10 ways lighting up can affect your eyes.
- Cataracts – Smoking doubles the risk of changes to the lens of the eye resulting in cloudy vision. Correcting this issue requires undergoing surgery to correct this issue.
- Age related Macular Degeneration – Age related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in those over 65 years of age. But did you know that smoking triples the risk of this disease and increases its severity.
- Glaucoma – Another leading cause of blindness is Glaucoma and your chances of developing primary open angle glaucoma increase if you continue to smoke tobacco.
- Diabetic Retinopathy ( for those with diabetes ) – Smoking increases your risk of developing diabetes and the accompanying complications. This includes potential blinding changes to the blood vessels of the eye.
- Dry Eyes – The irritating effects of smoking can cause eyes to become dry and itchy
- Problems Wearing Contact Lenses – The resulting dry eyes caused by smoking can make wearing contact lenses uncomfortable. Continued wear with the dry eyes could lead to corneal ulceration which can cause blindness.
- Uveitis – The inflammation of uveitis can lead to cataracts and glaucoma and the chances of developing this condition is doubled in smokers.
- Graves Disease – Another little known consequence of smoking is the your chances of developing thyroid disease are increased.
- Birth Defects – Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of having a baby with lazy eye and birth defects involving the eye.
- Second Hand Smoke – Those around you can be affected by dry eyes and the discomfort it can cause contact lens wearers as well.