Is Smoking Making you Blind?

Is it possible smokers delay quitting because the damage to their arteries, lungs and heart is not readily visible? Perhaps seeing (or more accurately, not seeing) the detrimental effects of smoking would make more people quit smoking sooner. If you need visible (or rather not visible…as in blinding) proof smoking has appalling effects on your health, you don’t need to go further than your eyes. As with the rest of your body, smoking has an appalling effect on your vision.

If you smoke and need a few more reasons still to quit smoking, here are 5 reasons:

  • Smokers have double the chances of getting cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens, and have triple the chances of developing macular degeneration, a blind spot in the center of our vision. The more you smoke, the greater your chances of forming cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • Smokers are more likely to suffer from uveitis which is the inflammation of the eye’s middle layer, the uvea, which can lead to blindness.
  • Smoking can double your risk of being diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is linked to retinopathy which harms retinal blood vessels that may incite vision loss.
  • Smoking is also responsible for dry eye. People who have dry eyes have lack the ability to produce an adequate amount of tears, which are needed to keep the eye moist and healthy. Dry eye symptoms are: itchiness, redness and a feeling of having sand in the eyes.
  • Smoking during your pregnancy increases the chance of your baby being born with eye disorders such as strabismus (crossed eyes)and an under-development of the optic nerve which can lead to blindness in children. Pregnant women smokers tend to give birth prematurely and all premature babies are at risk for retinopathy of prematurity, a potentially blinding disease.

Do something good for your eyes. Quit smoking and wear sunglasses.

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Source: www.allaboutvision.com/smoking/ & www.smokefree.gov