Many studies have proven that smoking is dangerous to one’s health. Not only can it lead to lung and heart problems, it can also cause other organ complications, such as vision problems. AAPECS Atlantic Eye Care, your provider of LASIK and other eye care services, talks about the different smoking-induced eyesight concerns.
Cataracts occur when the lens clouds over, preventing light rays from entering your eyes. Experts say that people who smoke are at least two-times more likely to have cataracts. While cataracts can be removed surgically, if you’re not careful, unmanaged cataracts may cause severe vision problems and even vision loss.
Tobacco and cigarettes contain various chemicals that are irritating to your eyes. As a result, your eyes may have compromised lubrication, which may lead to dry eye syndrome. When this happens, your eyes may appear red and itchy. You may feel that something is stuck in your eyes. Wearing contact lenses becomes uncomfortable and intolerable at times as well.
Uveitis is the inflammation of the uvea, or your eyes’ middle layer. It is a serious disease that harms vital structures of your eyes, like the retina and iris, which may lead to loss of vision. Studies found that smokers are 2.2-times greater to develop uveitis compared to non-smokers.
When you have diabetes, the sugar levels are high in your blood. This makes your blood thicker, making it harder for the blood to circulate around your body. As a result, your body parts do not receive needed oxygen. When this happens to your eyes, you may have diabetic retinopathy. You’re even at a higher risk of having to deal with this if you’re a smoker. Cigarettes and tobacco contain vessel-constricting substances that make it even harder for your blood to flow.
The macula is a part of your retina that plays an important role in providing your central vision. It may deteriorate over time. Smoking, however, speeds up the macula’s degeneration process, increasing your risk of losing your ability to see the things in front of you sooner even if you’re wearing prescription eyeglasses.
To learn more about the risks of smoking on your eye health, call us at (757) 772-0086 or complete our form. We serve Norfolk and nearby VA communities.