We are now more aware than ever about the negative effects smoking has on our lungs and heart. There are over 4,000 chemicals found in one cigarette, as well as cancer causing carcinogens. But, did you know smoking also affects your eyes? That’s right, this not so nice habit can have serious sight threatening consequences to your (irreplaceable) precious eyes!
Even without smoking, many of us are predisposed to eye issues, but smoking adds additional unnecessary short and long-term risks to your eye health. Yet, some of us still smoke or know of someone who smokes. It’s a hard habit to kick, but our hope is with this post you might reconsider quitting (it could save your sight)!
Smoking is a Leading Cause of Blindness
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking is a leading cause of blindness! Unknown to many smokers, but an extremely vital piece of information. It also increases your chances of developing eye diseases like Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), and cataracts. You are two times more likely to develop AMD than a non-smoker, and two to three times more likely to develop cataracts! Both of these eye diseases can lead to serious vision loss, especially if untreated.
Smokers, and those exposed to second-hand smoke can also experience a series of other unpleasant eye diseases and conditions, some of which include:
- Dry eyes
- Contact lens issues
- Birth defects
The Best Prevention is to Never Start Smoking
Smoking is a habit that is best never acquired. We don’t need to mention the difficulties many users have when trying to quit. But, it is possible to quit, and there is assistance. Check out the British Columbia’s Smoking Cessation Program here. Once quitting, your eyes can heal. Yes! Your eyes are an amazing organ and some of the damage caused by smoking can be reversed through self healing. Reducing the risk of developing possible eye diseases.
Don’t Miss Your Comprehensive Eye Exams
Regular eye exams are important for everyone, but even more so when the risk of developing an eye disease is higher for an individual. Your family eye doctor can assess the health of your eyes to ensure if any issues are present, a plan for treatment can be implemented. Eye care requires a proactive approach as many eye diseases have no symptoms.
We would love to help you see clearly!