Smoking has many negative effects, causing harm to much of your body. Your eyes, too, can be damaged through smoking. This article will detail some of the common ways that smoking can do damage to your vision.
Firstly, long-term smoking has been shown to double the risk that you develop cataracts. A cataract is a clouding of the lenses of your eye. It makes the world blurry and can give the feeling of viewing the world through a curtain. It can lead to distorted or double vision in the affected eye. It may also make your eyes more sensitive to sunlight.
Another common way that smoking can lead to vision problems is through age related macular degeneration (AMD). People who smoke are three times more likely to develop AMD than non-smokers. AMD can manifest in different ways and may appear as a blurred area in the centre of your vision. While it won’t cause blindness, this is a very serious condition, affecting tasks requiring clear vision. For example, people with this condition have difficulty performing tasks like driving and reading.
Smoking can also increase the chances that you will develop a form of Uveitis. Uveitis can last for a long time or for a shorter period and can produce a range of symptoms. However, some of the more common symptoms are; blurred vision, red eyes, floaters, sensitivity to light and eye pain. Uveitis causes damage to sections of the eye and may result in conditions like glaucoma and retinal detachment.
Smoking has also been shown to increase the chances of developing diabetes. People with diabetes are at greater risk of developing vision problems. Some common problems facing people with diabetes are; blurred vision that can’t be solved by prescription glasses, problems with balance, difficulties recognizing people, being sensitive to glare and having difficulty seeing at night.
These conditions are all commonly associated with smoking. However, there are many more ways that smoking can cause vision problems. It may, for example, cause dry eyes, which may result in redness and eye pain. Dry eyes occur because of the cigarette smoke, which means that exposure to smokers may cause this condition to occur. Additionally, smoking while pregnant can increase the chances that your child will develop eye problems like crossed eyes.
This article has examined some common ways that smoking can damage your vision. The conditions we discussed were; cataracts, age related macular degeneration (AMD), Uveitis and diabetes related issues. Most non-smokers should get their eyes checked by an optometrist every one to two years. However, if you are a smoker you should consider getting your eyes checked more regularly because of the increased risk of developing conditions that will negatively affect your vision. Additionally, because smoking has long-term effects on your body, even if you have quit smoking you may still have a higher risk for some of these conditions. For this reason, people with a history of smoking should also get regular checks from an optometrist. So, book an appointment with Innovations in Eyecare today.