Smoking can cause health difficulties throughout your entire body. Your eyes are no exception. If you smoke cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, you risk creating eye health issues that can range from discomfort to blindness.

Because smoking affects your eyes as well as your overall health, it’s best if you quit entirely. Your doctor and community will have resources to help. You can also find communities online to support you through your smoking cessation journey.

How Smoking Contributes to Vision Loss and Eye Discomfort

Smoking can damage parts of your eyes vital for healthy vision and clear eyesight. It can cause irreparable harm to the macula (a sensitive part of your retina necessary for clear vision), the lens (the clear part of your eye that light passes through on the way to the retina, which is important for focus), and the retina (the light-sensitive part of your eye).

If you smoke, you put yourself at the risk of worsening certain conditions, such as:

  • Cataracts. Smokers are at an increased risk for cataracts. This is when the lens of your eye clouds over, which causes blurry or double vision, dulls colors, causes light sensitivity, and diminishes night vision. Cataracts can only be cured through surgery.
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration. This condition causes damage to the macula. It creates vision loss in the center of your visual field and reduces your ability to see fine details. While medications may help slow the progress of this condition, there is no cure for it. Smokers are at increased risk for developing this condition.
  • Optic Nerve Issues. Smokers run an increased risk of difficulties with their optic nerve. Smoking can increase the risk factors that lead to glaucoma, which is a condition that affects the optic nerve.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy. Diabetic smokers may exacerbate the risks their disease already carries. This includes an increased chance of developing diabetic retinopathy, which damages the blood vessels in the eye and can cause vision loss.
  • Graves’ Disease. Graves’ disease can cause bulging eyes in those who contract it. Smoking can worsen this condition.

Concerned About How Smoking Affects Your Eyes? Visit Valley Eyecare Center to Learn More!

If you smoke, staying on top of your eye health is important. (It’s important if you don’t smoke, too!) Let Valley Eyecare Center help by making an appointment today! You can contact us online, or call us at (602) 955-2700!