How Smoking Affects Your Eyes

We all know that smoking has a multitude of adverse effects on our bodies and overall health.  But did you know smoking also has several negative effects on our eyes specifically?

May 31st is World No-Tobacco Day! The purpose of this day is to encourage people to reduce or stop tobacco use and to highlight all of the preventable health risks. Smoking tobacco in particular harms your eyes, increases your risk for eye disease, and can even lead to vision loss.

Among the eye conditions that are worsened by smoking are:

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is a condition in which the macula becomes damaged and central vision is lost, while peripheral vision stays the same. Studies show that smoking greatly increases your risk for AMD and unfortunately there is no cure for the disease.

Diabetic Retinopathy
This condition is caused by high blood sugar levels which causes the blood vessels behind the retina to leak or become blocked, which results in blurred vision or vision loss. Smoking is also said to increase the risk of diabetic retinopathy.

Cataracts
A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s lens, which inhibits the light from passing through to the retina clearly and causes blurred vision. Smoking can speed up the progress of cataracts, making colors look dull or yellowish.

These are just a few eye conditions that are worsened by smoking. Other conditions include glaucoma, dry eye, optic nerve issues, and uveitis. If you are a tobacco user, there is no better time than right now to quit! Invest in your long-term eye health. If you are experiencing any symptoms of these conditions, call Eye Physicians of Northampton at (413) 584-6422 or click here.

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