Smoking isn’t good for your body, not for your heart, not for your lungs, and surprisingly to some, not for your eyes. Here’s what you need to know to protect your body, and your eyes, from the deadly effects of cigarettes.
How Does Smoking Harm the Eyes?
Smoking is linked to a leading cause of vision loss, age-related macular degeneration or AMD. It is also a risk-factor for cataracts, a serious vision problem that requires surgery. Protect your eyes by quitting today. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Research suggests that smokers have twice the risk for AMD. It is the leading cause of vision loss in patients over 50. AMD damages the macula, a small spot near the center of the eye that provides clear central vision. As AMD develops, it can lead to a loss of central vision, making everyday tasks difficult or impossible. AMD is not reversible.
H2: What Are the Signs of Macular Degeneration?
AMD is a slow progressing disease, often requiring years before vision loss is extreme. It can progress more quickly in some patients. At first, a blurred area in the central vision is common. Over time this area can grow larger or blank spots your vision may develop. Some patients notice that objects aren’t as bright as the used to be. AMD doesn’t cause complete vision loss, even in its most advanced stages, but can cause patients to lose the ability to read, drive, see faces, etc. Many patients with AMD are legally blind, although they retain some outer vision.
Smokers are 2-3 times more likely to experience cataracts than a non-smoker. Cataracts cause the lens inside of the eye to become cloudy. Just like looking through a dirty window, cataracts can impede vision, causing blurriness. This blurry vision often increases and becomes worse with time. Surgery is the only way to restore vision loss from cataracts.
What Are the Signs of Cataracts?
Cataracts can cause a variety of symptoms including:
• Cloudy vision
• Blurry vision
• Difficulty with night vision
• Light sensitivity
• Halos around lights
What Can I Do to Improve My Eyesight?
If you have nearsightedness, farsightedness, or other vision problems, come see us. Dr. Will is a leading refractive surgeon and has years of skill and experience in the field. He can help you to explore your options for improving vision and treating common eye problems. Contact us and schedule your consultation with Dr. Will.