It comes as a shock to many smokers, but it is true that smoking can cause immediate and long-term damage to our bodies and can exasperate and cause diabetes and heart complications. It is also responsible for triggering several kinds of cancers.
However, smoking is also linked with several eye diseases as well – some of which can lead to permanent blindness, impairment in one eye and other debilitating eye diseases.
In 2014, the U.S. Surgeon General’s report revealed that findings confirm macular degeneration can be caused by smoking.
Researches confirm that smoking is bad for the eyes just as it is harmful to other parts of our body. Apart from blurred vision and headaches, two major threats to a smoker’s eye sight are cataracts and macular degeneration.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is also commonly referred to as macular degeneration destroys central vision that an individual needs to make out people’s faces, drive and read. This implies that it can leave you legally blind. There is no fixed treatment for macular degeneration.
Moreover, cataracts also lead to blurry vision that will worsen over time. They can cause serious eye and vision damage if they are not identified early or treated on time. In light of this, mentioned below are two very harrowing fact smokers should be aware of:
- Smokers are twice as likely to suffer from macular degeneration as nonsmokers
- Smokers are three times more likely to develop cataracts as nonsmokers
The macula is the part of the eye that makes us see fine details. When the macula is slowly destroyed as a result of AMD, the condition is further exasperated by smoking. This means that your smoking can rob you of your vision permanently.
One of the best ways to steer clear of the negative effects of smoking is to quit this nasty habit. You can do so by cutting down on your cigarettes. If you smoke a pack a day, try smoking ten, and then just gradually decrease the amount. Since, AMD has no early symptoms, only a sophisticated and dilated eye exam can help your eye doctor to identify this disease.
Another major disease that harms your our eyes and is dominant in smokers is cataracts. A cataract takes place when the lens in our eye becomes less flexible, less transparent and thickens. As a result, the lens can become cloudy and cause severe vision problems.
Tobacco smoke negatively reacts with substances in the body to develop free radicals which are substances that can damage our bodies’ healthy cells. These also include our eye lenses. This is how smoking contributes to cataracts.
People suffering from cataracts experience troubled vision and poor night vision. However, the good news is that cutting down on your cigarettes can minimize your cataract risks. Quitting will dramatically reduce your chances of developing the condition as you grow older.
It is also believed that smoking during pregnancy also harms the unborn baby’s vision. This is why pregnant women are recommended not to smoke as it is also linked to premature births.
Infants born too early can then be at a risk of retinopathy of prematurity. This is an eye disease in which there is an abnormal blood vessel growth in the eye leading to vision problems. These include crossed eyes, lazy eye or even glaucoma.
Take the step right now to protect your eyes by calling the best Santa Monica eye doctor at 310-464-0229 to schedule an appointment.