Eye Disorders and Smoking

smoking and eye disorders

Smoking contains 4000 chemicals that are known to affect the health of the body and organs.  Smoking is known to cause heart and lung disorders but it also affects your eyes and vision.

Here is a list of eye disorders associated with smoking:

1.  Macular Degeneration

Smoking increases the risk of developing macular degeneration.  Research shows that you are three times more likely to develop macular degeneration than non smokers.  Passive smokers are also at risk of developing macular degeneration.

2.  Cataracts

People that smoke have a greater risk of developing cataracts than non smokers.  Research has shown that the more you smoke the greater the chance of developing cataracts.

3.  Uveitis

Cigarette smoke contains chemicals that may initiate inflammation of blood vessels in the eye which may lead to uveitis.  Uveitis is the inflammation of the uvea (middle layer of the eye).  This condition can contribute to loss of a vision.  Research shows that you are two times more likely of having uveitis than individuals who have never smoked.

4.  Diabetic Retinopathy

Smoking is known to be linked with diabetes.  Smoking causes the hardening of the blood vessels.  Diabetic retinopathy causes damage to the blood vessels within the retina.  Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness.  Smoking may not be the direct cause of diabetic retinopathy but may play a role with the progression of the disorder with other factors like genetics and lifestyle.

5.  Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is caused when the eye does not produce enough tears to lubricate the eye surface.  Symptoms of dry eyes include grittiness, foreign body sensation, itchiness, redness and a stinging sensation.  Smoking enhances the symptoms of dry eyes.  Passive smokers are also at risk of dry eye syndrome.

6.  Smoking during Pregnancy

Women that smoke during pregnancy are putting their newborns at risk from eye disorders.  Smoking increases the risk of foetal and infant eye disorders such as cross eye (strabismus).

Smoking increases the chance of premature births.  Babies born prematurely are at risk of retinopathy of prematurity.

One of the best things you can do to reduce the risk of eye disorders is to give up smoking.

If you need assistance with smoking cessation.  Contact your local GP for information.  For all your eyecare and spectacle needs contact us today


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