To commemorate National Non- Smoking Week (Jan 20th- 26th 2013), we at North Toronto Eye Care wanted to outline for you how smoking can lead to loss of vision or blindness. Many people do not associate vision loss with the many problems that occur due to smoking. Studies show that smoking increases the risk for macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and dry eye syndrome. Here’s some information about each to help you understand the increased risk.
Macular Degeneration– Smokers are 3-4 times more likely to develop AMD over non-smokers; and non-smokers who live with smokers almost double their risk. Smoking promotes macular degeneration by interfering with blood flow to the retina.
Cataracts– Smoking alters the cells of the lens through oxidation and the accumulation of heavy metals in the lens. Heavy smokers are 3 times more likely to develop a cataract.
Glaucoma– Smoking and high blood pressure are highly associated with each other. This is a risk factor for glaucoma.
Diabetic Retinopathy– Smoking increases the chances of getting diabetes.
Dry Eye Syndrome– Dry eyes are more then twice as likely to impact smokers then non-smokers.
Quiting smoking or not starting in the first place is one way to protect your eyes. Save your self the trouble, and quit now! Worried about your vision? Make an appointment with us at North Toronto Eye Care.