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The Shocking Effects Smoking Has On Eyes

SMOKING not only puts your health at risk but is detrimental to your eyesight with smokers twice more likely to lose their vision than non-smokers.

Smoke contains over 7,000 dangerous chemicals which can cause conditions such as uveitis, a painful condition that causes inflammation of the middle layer of the eye. If left untreated uveitis can turn into more serious conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and ultimately blindness.  Signs and symptoms of dry eye can be noted as a side effect in those that smoke.  Dry Eye can cause eye irritation, discomfort, and redness amongst other symptoms.

Stephen Hannan, Clinical Services Director at Optical Express says; “9.4 million smokers can’t avoid knowing the risks to their lungs, skin, and heart but the risks to eyesight aren’t as commonly known.

“Smoking can cause dry eyes because the tobacco and noxious particles from a cigarette irritate the protective film of the eye known as the conjunctiva.

“As more and more destructive particles are let in, smokers are three times more likely to be diagnosed with cataracts. Cataracts cause the eyes crystalline lens to become cloudy which in turn causes reduced vision. 

“The harmful metals found in cigarettes not only damage the front of the eye but can severely affect the blood vessels that supply much-needed nutrients to the eye. Nicotine and carbon monoxide interfere with the blood vessels accelerating atherosclerosis; the thickening of blood vessels which in turn can lead to a change in eyesight as the vessel cannot supply adequate blood to the eyes.

“Smokers are also four times more likely to be diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is an irreversible progressive eye condition in which the central part of the retina is damaged. This can lead to blindness. 

 “Optical Express encourages those who smoke to keep on top of their eye health by attending regular eye tests.”

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