Can Smoking Cause Blindness?

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Eye Specialist/Ophthalmologist

“Smoking is injurious to health” This is probably one of the most commonly quoted health awareness statement in the world. Smoking is commonly related to lungs and respiratory problems. Seldom do we realize that it can lead to eye related problems and even blindness. Today we are discussing the effects of smoking on your eye health.

Eye Diseases Associated with Smoking:

Smoking is known to cause several eye problems such as cataract, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and dry eye syndrome. Here is what these diseases are and how smoking can lead to the development of these diseases.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration:

Age-related macular degeneration also termed as AMD initiates as loss of central vision and difficulty reading. There are two types of this AMD.

2- Dry AMD

2- Wet AMD

Between these dry AMD is most common. Wet AMD affects vision more quickly.

People who smoke are more prone to AMD. Those living with smokers also double as more likely to get affected with AMD as compared to others.

Glaucoma:

Glaucoma causes gradual damage to the optic nerve. It affects the cells responsible for vision. This usually begins as loss of side vision. The slow progress of this disease often masks it. There are several risk factors of this disease such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cataracts. These all factors speed up when you are smoking thus catalyzing the development of these diseases.

Cataract:

Cataract is a condition where the naturally clear lens of the eye gets cloudy. Cataracts develop with age but certain factors add to the likelihood of its occurrence. Smokers are at an elevated risk of developing cataract. People who use more than 15 cigarettes per day are three times more likely to get affected with cataract. To find a good eye specialist in Lahore, visit marham.pk.

Diabetic Retinopathy:

Consistently elevated blood sugar levels can affect entire body adversely. One of the common complications of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy which is effect on blood vessels of eyes. Smoking can add to the difficulty of controlling blood sugar level and hence all the allied complications.

Dry Eye Syndrome:

It occurs due to damage of blood vessels in eyes. Its symptoms include redness, dry, itch and irritated eyes. People who smoke are twice more prone to develop dry eye syndrome compared to non-smokers.

If not addressed in time with proper treatment these conditions can affect vision and in certain cases can lead to loss of vision.

What To Do to Prevent Loss of Vision?

To support eye health you have to choose good habits and a healthy lifestyle. Good food is essential to the betterment of eye health. Add foods such as nuts and fish to your diet to keep eyes healthy. Keep your diabetes and blood pressure under control. Also get your cholesterol levels checked at least thrice a year. Maintain an active lifestyle and limit unnecessary use of digital screens. Indulge into activities that support your eye health these include doing eye-specific exercises. Keep your contact lenses and glasses clean. Get your eyes examined at regular intervals.