Smoking & Uveitis
Caused through the inflammation of the eye’s middle layer, or uvea, this serious eye disease can result in complete vision loss if left undiagnosed or untreated. Through the harming of key structures of the eye, for example the retina and iris, complications can arise that may contribute to the onset of glaucoma and retinal detachment. Studies have indicated that smokers are more than twice as likely to develop uveitis as those who don’t.
Smoking & Diabetic Retinopathy
Damaging the blood vessels of the retina, this can ultimately lead to vision loss. Caused by both Type I & II diabetes, smoking can double the risk of developing diabetes, with a debated direct relationship between the habit, the initial development and the subsequent progression of diabetic retinopathy.
Smoking & Dry Eyes
Causing a redness of the eye and itchiness, dry eye syndrome is the result of a lack of tears to lubricate the eye’s surface. Tobacco and the haze produced is well known as an eye irritant and can accentuate already present dry eye. Again, people who smoke are nearly twice as likely to have dry eyes than those who don’t.
Smoking & Macular Degeneration
Affecting the centre of the retina, Age Related Macular Degeneration is a debilitating condition that causes blind spots in the sufferer’s vision. Seriously impairing sight, AMD is rapidly becoming a major cause for concern in the UK and is accountable for upto 50% of vision loss cases in the older age groups. Those who smoke have a circa 300% increase in suffering from AMD in the future than those who don’t, increasing dramatically as the smoker reaches the golden years of their life. Quitting smoking at any age can dramatically reduce the opportunity of AMD developing.
What Can I Do?
Quit smoking. Simple in theory but difficult in reality, stopping smoking is a fantastic approach to protecting your eye sight for later years. It is vital that early diagnosis is sought as soon as you experience any changes to your vision or feel you may be at risk. Professional diagnosis of a disease early can majorly determine the level of sight retention through timely intervention and formation of a suitable treatment plan.