There is plenty of documentation to support the idea that smoking can cause a number of serious diseases, such as cancer. However, people sometimes overlook all the medical conditions that smoking can bring about, particularly when it comes to your eye health. Discover just some of the problems that smoking can introduce to your vision and eye health.
Tobacco increases your risk of developing insulin resistance, while also causing your blood sugar levels to rise. Combined, these factors can cause you to develop diabetes and can make managing the condition a challenge. In terms of eye health, uncontrolled diabetes can cause the small blood vessels in the eyes to deteriorate or leak. The health of your blood vessels is directly linked to your vision, so any breakdown can lead to vision problems.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Even if you are fortunate enough to escape a diabetes diagnosis, smoking can still affect the blood vessels in your eye. Smoke is a common allergen. As with other irritants, smoke can cause the eyes to become itchy, irritated, and dry. In fact, for people who already have problems with dry eyes, smoking only makes the matter worse and if you also wear contact lenses, your risk for dry eyes is even higher. Dry eye syndrome might not affect your ability to see, but it can lead to significant discomfort and irritation and harm your blood vessels.
Cataracts are a condition in which the natural lens that covers the outer layer of the eye turns from clear to cloudy. While there are a number of medical conditions that might increase a person's chance of developing this condition, smoking is high on the list of risk factors. As cataracts become worse, not only is it more challenging to read fine print, but it can also be hard to distinguish colors and makes it seem like you're looking at everything through a blurred lens.
The retina is one of the most integral parts in the eye, as it is the part of the eye most responsible for your ability to read small print in front of you. Smoking can cause damage to the retina by way of a medical condition known as macular degeneration, which is a condition that causes the retina to deteriorate. This condition is not reversible, and over time can lead to not only vision difficulties but vision loss.
Regular visits with an eye care professional are critical to protecting your eye health. Visit an eye doctor as soon as possible.