Smoking & Eye Health


Smoking can have an adverse effect on many parts of the body, including eyes.  The RNIB has found that smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to lose their sight.  Smoking causes chemicals to damage the blood vessels behind the eyes, which can lead to sight loss.

Macular Degeneration & Smoking

Smoking is the second biggest risk factor after age, for developing macular degeneration.  Smokers may be up to four times more likely to suffer from this none preventative condition compared with non-smokers. 

Cataract & Smoking

Smokers are significantly more likely to develop cataracts than non-smokers.  This may be due to the fact that smoking causes metals found in tobacco to build up in the eye.  The longer a person smokes and the heavier they smoke, the more likely cataract is to develop.

Smoking & Wearing Contact Lenses

Smokers are also more likely to have problems if they wear contact lenses.  This is because their corneas run a greater risk of getting irritated, which can seriously affect vision if the cornea subsequently becomes infected.

The good news however, is that all of these risks start to drop as soon as you stop smoking, and they decline steadily the longer you don't smoke.

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