As we all know, smoking cigarettes can lead to a lot of health problems.
However, do you know that smoking is a habit that can have a harmful impact on your eyes, too?
Cigarettes contain approximately 4,000 chemicals. In fact, some of these poisonous chemicals can lead to long-term cellular damage in the eye, increasing the risk of corneal infections and delaying healing time.
Here are the different diseases that have a higher chance of developing in smokers. Some of these diseases are so dangerous that they can lead to blindness.
Did you know that smoking daily may put you at an increased risk for cataracts? Cataracts are the clouding of the eye’s natural lens. When cataracts start to form, they can lead to blurry vision and—in worst-case scenarios—total blindness. Studies show that there is a strong link between smoking and the increased risk of age-related cataracts. As such, those who smoke cigarettes regularly are more likely to develop cataracts at an earlier age than those who are non-smokers.
You are more likely to contract diabetes if you are frequently exposed to tobacco smoke. Diabetes can lead to an eye disorder known as diabetic retinopathy which is caused by the eye’s blood vessels becoming damaged. This can lead to many vision complications, including blindness.
Exposure to toxic chemicals, especially those found in cigarettes, can lead to uveitis, an inflammation of the eye. This can also affect the iris, the colored part of the eye. Smoking may put you at greater risk for developing this disorder, which can result in serious complications such as glaucoma and vision loss.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
If you’re a regular cigarette smoker, you’re three times more likely to develop the chronic disease known as age-related macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration (or AMD) causes the macula, the oval-shaped pigmented area near the center of the retina, to deteriorate and can result in vision loss. The macula allows for acute vision.
If you develop AMD, your central vision will be impaired. Because of this, you may not be able to participate in everyday tasks involving your eyesight like reading, writing, or driving.
With all of the existing information available, it’s important to be aware of the negative impact cigarettes can have on your health. Quitting smoking is just the first step toward decreasing your chance of developing harmful ocular diseases—and improving your overall health.
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