The use of tobacco products has negative effects on many areas of your health, including your eye care. Smoking causes damage and changes to your eyes, that significantly increase your risk of developing ocular problems and diseases. Below is more information on the relationship between smoking and eye damage.
What Are the Effects of Smoking?
Tobacco smoke introduces toxins to your eyes, restricts circulation, and damages blood vessels. All of this contributes to a heightened risk for numerous ocular problems, including dry eyes and cataracts. Other major concerns include macular degeneration, optic nerve damage, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy, all of which can cause vision loss and blindness. Smoking also raises your risk for eye complications related to Graves’ disease, and if you smoke while pregnant, it can affect your baby’s ocular health due to infection and preterm labor.
What Are the Potential Symptoms?
Symptoms vary depending on the condition that’s developing. Macular degeneration can cause blurriness, difficulty recognizing people and needing more light to do tasks. Optic nerve damage can include symptoms like eye pain, a narrower field of vision, and seeing flashing lights when moving your eyes. Severe eye pain accompanied by nausea, loss of peripheral vision, redness, and blurred vision are signs of glaucoma. Meanwhile, diabetic retinopathy could have no symptoms until it reaches advanced stages when it can cause disturbances in vision like seeing black spots and streaks or causing scarring or glaucoma.
How Do You Curb Your Risk?
The most effective way to lower your risk of ocular problems related to smoking is to quit using tobacco. People who try to quit are most successful when they do so with a support system and the assistance of a physician. You should see your eye doctor regularly so they can detect any changes or early signs of disease before they become symptomatic. If you experience any changes in your vision needs or the appearance of your eyes, report them to your eye doctor immediately. A healthy diet, active lifestyle, and maintaining safe blood pressure and cholesterol levels will also contribute to healthy vision.
You can get screened and treated for smoking-related ocular problems at Tri-State Ophthalmology in Ashland, KY. With over 57 years of experience in eye care, their team offers reliable and gentle services to monitor and preserve your vision. They provide treatments for cataracts, diabetic eye conditions, dry eyes, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Learn more about their services online, and call (606) 324-2451 for a consultation or exam.