Smoking harms nearly all our body organs. But did you know it increases your risk for eye diseases too! Adverse effect of cigarette smoking on our health, in form of cardiovascular diseases, lung problems and cancer are well known, but sight-threatening eye problems are little less known. And the more a person smokes, the higher the risks. And, the good news is that soon after you quit smoking, the risks associated with eye health becomes almost negligible – as for people who never smoked. Let’s take you through how smoking affects your eyes and vision:
Cataracts or clouding of the natural lens of eye is a common condition, especially as you cross 60-65 years. But smokers increase their risk of developing cataracts as compared with non-smokers. Infact, studies show that smokers double their chance of forming cataracts at an early age.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
AMD affects the center of the retina that is responsible for sharp and central vision needed for performing everyday tasks that includes recognising faces, reading and driving, etc. Cigarette smoke contains harmful chemicals which are absorbed through the lungs. Some of these are oxidants which damage the retina while travelling through the bloodstream. Besides causing blind spots and impairing central vision, AMD may even cause permanent loss of vision. Studies reveal smokers are at an increased risk of developing AMD as compared with people who have never smoked.
Uveitis or inflammation of the eye’s middle layer is another serious eye disease that can result in complete vision loss. It harms the iris and retina, and can lead to complications such as cataract, glaucoma and retinal detachment. According to studies smokers are more likely than non-smokers to have uveitis.
Smoking doubles the risk of diabetes and causes progression of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy damages the blood vessels of the retina which may result in permanent loss of vision if not timely treated/diagnosed.
Dry Eyes Syndrome
Dry Eyes Syndrome is a condition in which eyes produce insufficient tears on its surface, which are needed to keep the eye lubricated and healthy. Dry eye causes symptoms such as redness and itchiness in eyes, watery eyes, etc. According to statistics, smokers are nearly twice as likely to have dry eyes.
Say No To Smoking
It’s never too late to quit smoking. Enjoy the benefits of a healthier life. It may be hard to quit smoking initially but eventually it reduces your risk of developing many sight-threatening eye conditions.
If you’ve been smoking and facing any kind of vision problems, get your eyes examined immediately. Otherwise too get your eyes checked up regularly.
For queries or to book an appointment, contact Sharp Sight (Group of Eye Hospitals), one of the best eye hospitals in Delhi NCR. We offer advanced treatment for various diseases/disorders of eyes at affordable cost.