Many people are aware that smoking can be bad for their overall health, but did you know that smoking can affect your sight? According to research, smokers are up to four times more likely than non-smokers to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Age-related macular degeneration affects the central part of your vision and can make it difficult to do some everyday tasks. In the UK age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness.
Few people know of the link between smoking and blindness
The chemicals found inside tobacco can also cause biological changes within the eye that can lead to cataracts and thyroid eye disease. Many people are aware of the link between smoking and diseases such as lung cancer and heart disease, but fewer than 10% of smokers are aware that smoking can affect the health of their eyes.
Clinical Adviser for the College of Optometrists, Daniel Hardiman-McCartney, explained: “few people know of the link between smoking and blindness. If you stop smoking the risk of losing your sight diminishes over time, so the sooner you stop, the better for you vision. If you want to stop smoking, information including simple steps designed to make quitting easier is available at www.nhs.uk/smokefree.
If you have any questions regarding smoking and your vision, or any other issues related to your overall eye health, you can visit us in-store, request an appointment online or call us on 01242 504 800 to speak to our team who will be able to offer you friendly, professional advice.
Sources: The College of Optometrists, Association of Optometrists, www.visionmatters.org.uk , www.nhs.co.uk/smokefree
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