It’s common knowledge that certain bad habits, such as excessive exposure to blue light from gadget screens, contribute to poor eye health. However, not many are aware that smoking cigarettes can also be a factor. Lighting up might not only damage your lungs; it might also necessitate frequent visits to an eye care center.
It may sound like fuel for the fear-mongering machine, but this habit is indeed linked to numerous fatal diseases like lung cancer, with an overwhelming amount of scientific data backing up the statistics. And, the list doesn’t stop there. Below are eye-related conditions more likely to arise when you smoke.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
The macula is the part of the retina that enables pinpoint vision and allows you to see fine details. Also known as AMD, age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people who are over 50 years old. Macular degeneration severely compromises central vision, which is essential for performing tasks like reading and driving. Smoking increases your risk of developing the disease threefold. A smoker is also more likely to develop AMD 10 years earlier than a non-smoker.
Dry Eye Syndrome
It’s not uncommon for people who wear contact lenses to experience dry eyes. But since cigarette smoke is a known eye irritant, smokers are more prone to having dry eyes than non-smokers. Dry eye syndrome is usually accompanied by various discomforts, such as eye itchiness and redness, hypersensitivity to light and blurred vision, among other things, and can be aggravated by the chemicals in a lit cigarette.
Statistically, more than 50% of Americans will develop cataracts by the time they reach the age of 80. Cataracts can form in either or both eyes when certain proteins, which keep the eyes’ lenses clear and passable by light, clump together. Smokers are doubly susceptible to cataract formation.
It might be time to kick the smoking habit to ensure optimal visual capacities. At Guilford Eye Center, we offer excellent products, services and treatments like LipiFlow to keep your eyes working as they should. You may contact us at (336) 387-6777. We serve High Point, NC.