What Quitting Smoking Does for Your Eyes
Smoking increases your risks for a number of serious vision-stealing disorders. These include:
- A doubled risk for cataract development
- Up to a 5.5x increase in risks for macular degeneration
- Risks of glaucoma and retinal detachment increased 2.2x
- Double the risk of diabetic eye disorders
- Double the risk of chronic dry eye syndrome
Bear in mind that these increased risks for vision loss are cumulative. The longer you smoke, the greater risk you run of losing your vision permanently.
If you are a smoker, quitting now is your best bet. In fact, studies have found that as soon as you quit smoking, some of your risks for vision loss are reduced. Within one year of quitting, risks for macular degeneration and glaucoma are reduced by more than 6%. These risks continue to decrease with each smoke-free year, although it is not likely that a higher chance of developing one of these disorders will be entirely eliminated.
The San Diego retina specialists at our office strongly encourage smokers to begin taking steps towards cessation right away. The sooner you begin, the better your chances of maintaining clear vision in the future.
If you are a smoker who is beginning to experience changes in vision, please contact California Retina Associates right away to schedule an examination at our El Centro or Chula Vista location.