How Smoking Damages Your Eyes

There is a mountain of research that shows how smoking contributes to many health problems people are facing and it is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. Few are aware of the damage smoking does to their eyes and how it contributes to many vision problems. Below  are 10 ways our Victoria optometrist says you may not be aware of that smoking impacts a person’s vision.

  1. Smokers have twice the risk when it comes to cataracts as a non smoker. The only way to correct the problem is by undergoing a surgical procedure to restore vision.
  2. Age related Macular Degeneration is a leading cause of blindness in those individuals over 65 years of age. Smokers run triple the risk of age related macular degeneration and smoking increases the severity.
  3. Another cause of blindness in older individuals is Glaucoma, and chances of developing primary open angle glaucoma increase if you continue to smoke.
  4. Diabetic retinopathy ( for those with diabetes ) there is an increase risk of developing diabetes and the accompanying complications for smokers. There is also the increased potential for blindness due to changes in the blood vessels of the eyes.
  5. The irritation to the eyes for smokers can result in Dry Eyes that become itchy as well.
  6. People who wear contacts may have problems due to the Dry Eyes caused by smoking and even experience a corneal laceration which can lead to blindness.
  7. Uveitis is a condition of the eyes that can lead to cataracts and doubles the risk for glaucoma in smokers with uveitis.
  8. Graves disease, there is a link between smoking and smokers have double the risk of developing this thyroid disease.
  9. Birth defects, smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of having a baby with lazy eye and birth defects involving the eye.
  10. Smoking also affects those around a smoker, they may experience dry eyes or even cause discomfort for those wearing contact lenses.

If the list of reasons to quit smoking or better yet not start is a long one now the health of your eyes is another to add to this list. It’s important for smokers to have regular, comprehensive eye exams in Victoria BC to detect and rectify any issues before they impact the health of your eyes and vision.