Smoking and Eye Disorders

Smoking and eyes

Cigarette smoke contains approximately 4000 chemicals that can harm your health and body.

Smoking is one of the largest preventable cause of diseases.  Smoking not only harms your bodily organs and functions but it also affects the condition of your eyes.

We all know that smoking is a cause for lung and heart disease but it also affects your eyes and vision.

Here are a few eye disorders associated with smoking:

1.  Smoking and Uveitis

Uveitis is a condition that affects the uvea (the middle layer of the eye) which can result in the loss of vision.  Cigarette smoke contains chemicals that may initiate inflammation of blood vessels which may lead to uveitis.

Research shows that you are twice as likely to develop uveitis than people that do not smoke.

2.  Smoking and Diabetic Retinopathy

It is well known that smoking is linked to diabetes.  Smoking causes hardening of the blood vessels and diabetic retinopathy causes damage to the blood vessels within the retina.  Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness.

Smoking may not be the direct cause of diabetic retinopathy but smoking plays a role in the progression of the disorder with other factors like family history.

3.  Smoking and Cataracts

People that smoke have a greater risk of developing cataracts than non smokers.  Research shows that the more you smoke the greater the risk of developing cataracts.

4.  Smoking and Macular Degeneration

Smoking also increases the risk of developing macular degeneration.  Research shows that you are three times more likely to develop macular degeneration than individuals who don’t smoke.  Passive smokers are also at risk of developing macular degeneration.

5.  Smoking and Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is caused when the eye does not produce sufficient tears to lubricate the eye surface.  Symptoms of dry eyes include irritation, grittiness, foreign body sensation, itchiness and stinging.  Cigarette smoke contributes to the symptoms of dry eyes, passive smokers are also at risk from dry eyes syndrome.

6.  Smoking and Pregnancy

Women who smoke during pregnancy put their child at risk with eye disorders.  Smoking increases foetal and infant eye disorders.  Cigarette smoke may cause your child to be cross eyed (strabismus).

Smoking increases the chance of premature births.  Babies born prematurely are at risk of retinopathy of prematurity.

Chat with your GP if you need help with giving up smoking.  For all your eyecare needs contact us today.





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