Smoking can be a contributing factor to many illnesses since it introduces various substances into your body that are harmful to not only your lungs, but also to your eyes. Guilford Eye Center, your trusted provider of contact lenses and other quality eye care, talks about the effects of smoking on your eye health.
Diabetic and Hypertensive Retinopathies
A rise in your blood sugar and pressure levels means more work for your blood vessels and can lead to thickened walls. These diseases can cause narrowed blood passageways, compromising the blood circulation in your body. As a result, your eyes may receive less oxygen and nutrients. Smoking worsens this problem as cigarettes release potent vasoconstricting substances into your body that may further limit the amount of blood reaching your eyes.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Both rolled-up tobacco and company-manufactured cigarettes contain compounds that are irritating to your eyes, increasing your risk of having dry eye disease. They may affect your tear components, which can lead to rapid tear evaporation. Stopping this habit can do wonders for your eyes. It’s also best to avoid second- and third-hand smoke as much as possible. We may suggest including the LipiFlow® System in your eye care plan, as well. LipiFlow is an FDA-approved device that uses thermal pulsation to unclog tear ducts, promoting better tear outflow.
Cataracts may form when the proteins in your eyes fall apart, causing their fragments to build up on your surface of your lenses. Having this disease may prevent light from entering your eyes, which can result in cloudy vision, similar to looking through a dirty window. Apart from increasing age, smoking is found to be a major risk factor for this condition’s development. In fact, those who smoke are 50% more likely to have cataracts during their older years.
Macular degeneration happens when the retina’s focal part, the macula, gradually deteriorates. You may struggle seeing the things in front of you when this happens. While this problem is usually common during your adulthood, your eye care center shares that smoking may speed up its onset. Studies show that smokers are at an up to four times higher risk of developing this condition than non-smokers.
For more information about the impact of smoking on your eye health, call us at (336) 387-6777, or complete our form. We serve High Point and other areas throughout North Carolina.