Smoking has detrimental effects on various parts of your body. One study suggests that long-term smoking increases the risk of certain eye diseases.
In today’s post, your local eye doctor, Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry, discusses how smoking may affect your vision.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) – AMD occurs when the part of the eye responsible for sharp central vision or macula gets damaged. There’s no cure for AMD, but surgery and medication may prevent the disease from progressing. Studies say smokers and ex-smokers are more at risk of developing AMD.
Dry Eye – An insufficient amount of tears in the eyes causes dry eye disease. Smoking can worsen its symptoms if you already have it. You’re more likely to experience itchy, stinging and red eyes.
Cataracts – Those who smoke are at higher risk of having cataracts. Cataracts cloud your eyes lens and cause blurry vision. It makes colors dull, faded or yellowish. Cataracts can be removed through surgery. Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry can examine, diagnose and help patients manage cataracts. We can help with cataract treatment referrals if a patient needs surgery.
Diabetic Retinopathy – Smokers with diabetes are at greater risk of having diabetic retinopathy. It’s when the eye blood vessels get damage. Patients experience blurry or distorted vision, even blindness.
Grave’s Disease – Bulging eye is a symptom of a thyroid disease called Grave’s disease. The condition can get worse with smoking and can cause vision loss.
Uveitis – Smoking harms the uvea or the eye wall’s middle layer. Uveitis results in a red eye, pain,and vision problems.
Retinopathy of Prematurity – Smoking while pregnant increases your infant’s risk of getting bacterial meningitis by five times. The tissues around the brain can swell and cause eye infection and vision problems. Pregnant smokers are more likely to give birth prematurely. This can lead to retinopathy prematurity, so your baby may be born with permanent vision loss or blindness.
Quit smoking, and avoid second-hand smoke to protect your vision. Visit Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry for regular eye exams to monitor your eye health. We offer sports vision training, pediatric eye care and LASIK eye surgery. Call us at (703) 573-1200, or complete our online form to request an appointment.