Everyone knows cigarette’s cause a wide variety of diseases including heart disease, diabetes and cancer but not many people know how smoking can affect eyesight and even lead to vision loss and blindness. Cigarette’s contain thousands of dangerous chemicals. Tar, formaldehyde, hydro-carbons, heavy metals and others are all known cancer causing compounds which can affect your health and your vision.
The two leading causes of vision loss are cataracts and macular degeneration and smoking has been shown to have a direct link to both. Macular degeneration, also called age-related macular degeneration, can destroy your central vision. Without central vision, you may be unable to read, drive or see faces. There is no cure for macular degeneration. The main symptom of cataracts is blurry vision which gradually gets worse and can only be corrected with surgery.
Smokers are twice as likely to develop macular degeneration and two to three times more susceptible to cataracts then those who don’t smoke.
Studies also have linked cigarette smoking to eye problems such as:
• Optic nerve damage
• Graves’ Disease
• Birth defects –Lazy Eye in children of smokers
• Diabetic retinopathy
• Problems with contact lenses
• Corneal ulcerations
• Second-hand smoke – You might be affecting the eye health of your family and friends.
The best way to protect your eyes from smoking related eye conditions is to never smoke at all, and restrict your exposure to those who do. However, many of these conditions can be prevented if you stop now. If you quit smoking, you can significantly reduce your risks of developing macular degeneration and cataracts. Each year that you go without smoking will increase the odds in your favor. Once you have been a smoker, your risks of developing eye conditions will always be higher than those who never smoked. The reversal of damage is a slow process but it is well worth the benefits.
If you still smoke, quit today and make an appointment to have a complete eye checkup. Don’t take your eye health lightly. Do your part to start protecting your eyes today. For more information on this or other eye health questions, contact Alpine Eye Care, a leading eye care provider in Northern Michigan.
Remember, you only have one set of eyes, protect the gift of sight. The only way to know what’s really going on with your eyes is to see an eye care professional. Schedule your appointment today! Call Today: 1.877.SEE.2020.