It’s no secret that smoking is bad for your health, being linked to an array of illnesses from lung cancer to heart disease. However, did you know that cigarettes are also bad for your vision? Any eye doctor will tell you that one of the best things you can do to preserve your vision is to quit your nicotine habit. Here, the eye doctors of Dolan Family Vision in Kalispell, MT, explain exactly how smoking can harm your eyesight.
If you’ve ever gotten a cloud of smoke in your eyes, whether from your own cigarette or someone else’s, you know how much it can sting. No surprise, given that cigarette smoke includes some 4,000 chemicals. This toxic mix can irritate your eyes immediately upon contact, making them dry and red.
Such discomfort aside, smoking has also been linked to age-related macular degeneration. AMD affects the part of the eye needed for sharp vision, the macula. This can impact your ability to drive, read, and write. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to develop AMD.
Those who light up regularly are also more prone to cataract development. Cataracts cause your eye’s lens to gradually cloud over. This obscures eyesight, causing symptoms like blurriness, increased sensitivity to glare, and double-vision. The CDC estimates that if you smoke, you are two to three times more likely to develop this condition than your non-smoking counterparts.
Quitting your cigarette habit is one of the best things you can do for your health, including your eyesight. If you’re having trouble stopping, talk to a healthcare professional—like your eye doctor. They can give you tips and resources to help. For support in the Kalispell, MT, area, look to Dolan Family Vision. Dr. Dolan and his team are dedicated to providing preventative care that will keep your eyes healthy for a lifetime. Visit their website or call (406) 756-8420 to find out more.