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How Does Smoking Affect You and Your Family’s Vision?

You probably know smoking is bad for your lungs and heart, and you’re also likely aware of the dangers of second-hand smoke. What about its impact on your eyes? Did you know smoking puts your eyes at risk for serious, sight-threatening eye diseases?

Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke pose an increased threat of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Both of these conditions can lead to vision loss and blindness, and they can be diagnosed with a comprehensive eye exam by our eye doctor in Overland and St. Charles.

Effects of Smoking On Your Eyes

Smoking causes changes in your eyes, which can progress and lead to vision loss. In fact, people who smoke are twice as likely to develop AMD, and two to three times more likely to develop cataracts than nonsmokers. If you’ve already been diagnosed with AMD, you may be able to slow the deterioration of the disease by quitting smoking.

In addition to AMD and cataracts, smoking can lead to:

  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Damage to color and contrast vision
  • Diabetic retinopathy, if you have diabetes
  • Optic nerve problems
  • Uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye)
  • In women who are pregnant, exposure to smoke increases the baby’s likelihood of vision problems, including strabismus, Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP, since smoking is associated with premature birth), and other eye health complications.

Only an Eye Exam Can Detect Eye Disease Linked to Smoking

The early signs of eye disease are typically silent, which means the only reliable way to know if your eyes are healthy is by getting an eye exam. Our eye doctor in Overland and St. Charles will dilate your pupils in order to see the retinal tissues at the back of your eye more clearly and inspect for signs of damage.

The best way to protect your vision and your family’s vision against the dangers of smoking is to quit – or never take up smoking!

At Overland Optical Family Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 314-254-2211 or book an appointment online to see one of our Overland eye doctors.

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