We all know full well that smoking can be bad for our health. It’s known that smoking can affect your repertory and cardiovascular systems, but did you know that smoking can also affect your eyesight? It’s true. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of how dangerous smoking and second-hand smoke can be for their vision. But the truth is that smoking can be responsible for the loss of 20/20 vision, eye disease, and even blindness.
Smoking can many adverse effects on your vision and overall eye health. To start, smokers are much more likely to have dry, irritated eyes. When your eyes are constantly irritated and not able to lubricate themselves properly, they may become tired faster, or you may suffer from light sensitivity or blurred vision. This can be very disruptive to your everyday life.
As irritating as dry eyes can be, the most serious effects of smoking occur “behind the scenes”. Smoking is known to cause serious trauma to your cardiovascular system. People who smoke on a regular basis have a higher chance of developing high blood pressure or suffering a stroke.
When your blood pressure increases due to smoking, it can cause the tiny blood vessels along your retina to become inflamed. Eventually, these blood vessels can be completely destroyed, which could lead to a partial loss of vision or even complete blindness.
What’s more, studies have shown that smoking can increase your chances of developing eye conditions that are typically linked to aging such as cataracts or cancer of the eye.
Your smoking can even harm the eyesight of the people around you. People who are constantly exposed to secondhand smoke are at risk of developing all of the same eye problems as the smokers themselves. Pregnant women especially should do everything they can to avoid being exposed to secondhand smoke.
When a pregnant woman is exposed to too much secondhand smoke, it could result in her child being born prematurely. Babies who were exposed to secondhand smoke in the womb are at risk of developing blindness from retinopathy.
If you currently smoke, it is in your best interest to stop right away before you cause permanent damage to your vision and your body as a whole. If you find yourself around people who smoke, do what you can to keep your distance to protect your own eyesight from the effects of secondhand smoking.
Everyone can benefit from periodic eye exams, however, it’s even more important for people who are or who have been smokers in the past. If you it’s been a while since your last eye exam, or if you believe that you’re experiencing vision problems due to smoking, contact our office right away to schedule an appointment for an eye exam with one of our experienced optometrists. Even if you’ve already experienced some loss of vision due to smoking, we can help you take precautions to prevent your vision from getting any worse down the line. Whether you’re a smoker or not, preventative care is your best chance at enjoying a lifetime of healthy vision.