Smoking and the Eyes
Cigarette smoke can, obviously, be an eye irritant. Smokers and anyone who has spent time around them know that red, itchy, and dry eyes are simply part of the package. However, these issues are relatively minor in comparison to the real impact cigarettes have on visual health.
Smoking has been identified as a risk factor for:
With over 4,000 known toxic compounds found in cigarette smoke, it is also suspected as a risk factor in vision disorders related to optic nerve damage.
Researchers have found that smokers are more than twice as likely to develop cataracts, a risk that increases with the amount of tobacco a person uses. Equally worrisome, smoking can quadruple the risk of macular degeneration and the progression of diabetic complications including vision loss.
What You can Do
If you are a smoker, the best thing you can do for your eyes and, indeed, your entire body is to quit now. However, because nicotine itself may increase risks for vision disorders, ceasing the use of all nicotine-containing products is best. Our experienced Southern California ophthalmologists would be happy to discuss this with you during your next appointment.
To schedule an appointment at our Chula Vista or El Centro location, please contact California Retina Associates today.