You know that smoking is bad for your heart and your lungs but did you know that it is also bad for your eyes? After years of smoking, your vision can slowly start to deteriorate as well. This fact is often overlooked on traditional cigarette warnings.
There are many chemicals contained in one cigarette and your eyes are exposed to these chemicals when you smoke. Smoking also interferes with your eyes’ naturally self-protective functions.
We know that smoking is a difficult habit to give up but the goal of this article is to educate you as much as possible as to the dangers posed by cigarettes. Here are five ways smoking is harmful to your eyes:
- Smoking increases your risk of developing cataracts
Cataracts develop when the lens of the eye begins to cloud and they are the leading cause of blindness worldwide. Smokers double their chances of developing cataracts and this risk only continues to get higher the more heavily you smoke.
- Smoking increases your risk for macular degeneration
Macular degeneration causes blinds spots and can severely impair your central vision. Smokers have three times as high of a risk for developing macular degeneration as opposed to someone who has never smoked. However, the good news is that quitting smoking at any age significantly lowers your risk for macular degeneration.
- Smoking is harmful to pregnant women
Pregnant women who smoke transmit dangerous toxins to the placenta that can harm their unborn baby. Pregnant smokers have a higher chance of their baby being born with crossed eyes or an underdeveloped optic nerve.
- Smoking increases you risk for dry eyes
Your tears are what lubricate your eyes and keep them healthy. Cigarette smoke can irritate your eyes and worsen the symptoms of dry eyes. People who smoke are twice as likely to develop dry eyes.
- Smoking increases your risk for diabetic retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy occurs in individuals that have diabetes. Smoking doubles your risk of developing diabetes in the first place and it has been shown to causes the development and progression of diabetic retinopathy.
It is never too late to quit smoking and begin living a healthier lifestyle. No matter how old you are, quitting smoking can significantly improve the quality and longevity of your life. For more information on comprehensive eye care, schedule an appointment with one of our Kingston, Scranton or Hazleton eye doctors today!