What You Need To Know About Smoking & Eye Health

smoking and ocular healthThe information regarding just how much tobacco smoking dramatically raises the possibility of the development of a wide variety of cancers and diseases for the user, as well as numerous cardiovascular issues, is today widely known and discussed. Of course, on a less serious but still disruptive level, it certainly also causes negative teeth stains, and certainly makes the user smell somewhat offensively as well. The lesser known potential disaster which is possible is that users might be subject to loss of eyesight along with all the other potential bad outcomes.

Vision Loss

Recent comprehensive studies on the matter have pointed out candidly that not only might loss of vision occur to the smoker, in addition, age-related macular degeneration possibilities also grow greatly. The leading cause of vision loss is Macular Degeneration, and the numbers clearly point out that in the over 65 age group, more than 10 million Americans suffer with it. These staggering numbers account for more than glaucoma and cataracts combined! And the other bad news is that Macular Degeneration, caused by the central portion of the retinas deterioration, is an incurable disease. The retina’s central portion is the eye’s inside back layer which records the images seen by us, and then sends them from the eye to the brain via the optic nerve. Once that this deterioration reaches a certain level, there is actually nothing that can be done. Rushing to the eye doctor after letting things go too far is not going to be of any help! Additional bad news for smokers is that they stand nearly four times more likely than non-smokers to develop macular degeneration. There is also bad news for those non-smokers who find themselves exposed to smoke second hand; they are subject to double the risk of macular degeneration.

 

Additional Health Risks

And the bad news doesn’t simply stop there! Smoking has been shown to also lead to glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and Dry Eye Syndrome. Compared to non-smokers, heavy smokers(15 cigarettes or more daily) have three times more risk of cataracts. Of course, your eye doctor can perform surgery, but be aware it may be painful, leave you with clouded vision, and certainly will be costly!

Further negative news is that in addition to making diabetes more likely, smoking also contributes to greater difficulty in the treatment of the disease. If after reading this information, you still feel the need of more incentive to quit smoking, be aware that in addition to your eyes, potential diabetic complications may also include retinopathy, a serious problem that can lead to nerve damage, foot problems, kidney problems, stroke, and heart disease, as well as impairment or loss of vision.

Damaged blood vessels in the eye, or Dry Eye Syndrome, can lead to itchy eyes and eye irritation, and a burning sensation extremely uncomfortable, restricting the usage of contact lenses in many cases. The potential of developing dry eyes is increased 100 percent for smokers!

If you are looking for an eye doctor for you or a loved one, we are committed to providing each patient with quality vision solutions. Our staff holds firmly to the value of offering excellent service, care and products through friendly, positive and professional teamwork.

Call us today at (646) 863-1997 or contact us for any questions that you might have on your eye care needs!

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