We all know that smoking can impact our overall health because it can lead to lung cancer, heart disease, and other health problems, but did you know that smoking can also impact your eye health? No matter how old you are, your vision can be affected by smoke.
Eye Health Issues Related to Smoking
Cataracts—Smoking increases your chance of developing cataracts, which impede your vision and can make it blurry. Cataracts develop slowly over time, but treatment is simple and can be fixed by new glasses or, in some cases, surgery.
Age-related macular degeneration—This eye health issue is more common for those 50 and older and causes damage to the macula, which is near the retina. Macular degeneration can affect either the peripheral vision or the vision that you use to see straight in front of you. This problem can often be exacerbated in those who have smoked.
Uveitis—This eye health issue is less common than the two previously listed, but it can harm vital structures of the eye, such as the iris or the retina. Uveitis can also lead to other more serious vision problems, such as glaucoma and retinal detachment.
Dry eye—If you have smoked yourself, or if you have been around others who smoke, you may notice that your eyes are permanently dry. Using eye drops can only help so much; you may need to stop smoking or tell others around you to stop smoking if your dry eye gets bad enough.
Smoking harms virtually every organ and part of your body, and it plays a vital role in your eye health. To learn more about the effect of smoke on your eyes, or to schedule an appointment with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.