Smoking is directly tied to the leading causes of blindness.
Accelerated by tobacco use, cataracts and macular degeneration affect millions of people, robbing them of full, clear vision. Chemicals in cigarette smoke not only put our own eyes at risk, but secondhand exposure can affect those around you.
Smoking Damages Eyes, Inside and Out
We’re all familiar with the well-publicized ways tobacco harms the heart and lungs, but the eyes are often forgotten. The toxic mix of over 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke irritates eyes from the outside, and erodes vision from the inside. Smokers face a four times greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration—the deterioration of the sharp, central sight needed for everyday tasks. Studies also indicate that smoking doubles the risk of developing cataracts—clouding of the eye’s lens that severely obscures vision.
The Smartest Choice Is to Never Start
The good news is that our eyes have a remarkable capacity to heal themselves! A 2014 Surgeon General’s Report states that while the eyes may never fully recover from years of smoking, stopping tobacco use significantly decreases macular degeneration risk. Still, the best choice is to never smoke at all. If you live tobacco-free, we congratulate you on your commitment to avoiding this addiction!
Share This Message With Those You Love
Think about the people who are important to you. Friends, neighbors, coworkers, extended family members. Is there someone who could benefit from better understanding this information? Sharing is caring.
Decide Today, For Your Health and Your Future
Chances are you’ve heard most of this before—but we want to continually support your lifelong vision health. If you smoke, decide today to begin the quitting process, for yourself and for your family. A great place to start is smokefree.gov. Our focus is improving quality of life through outstanding vision care, and building relationships our Vision Source® partners and you, our valued patients.
Thanks for reading our blog. We look forward to the next time we see you!
Top image by Flickr user Nadja Tatar used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.