Effects of Smoking on Vision

If you are concerned about how a cigarette smoker will affect others in close proximity, note that you have valid concerns, especially of the effects on the eyes and vision.

Cigarettes are full of chemicals which can interfere with blood flow to the eyes. Heavy smokers, or those subject to close proximity to heavy smokers, can be greatly affected.

Cigarettes reduce levels of plasma antioxidant, which is an important substance in the blood stream that protects the retinal cells of the eyes. Smoking causes the protective layer that is between the retina and the blood vessels to erode, which then causes irritation and poor circulation which can lead to further problems including vision loss.

Since smoking damages the blood supply, it exposes one to cellular damage which can cause poor circulation to the lens and retina of the eyes.

People that smoke have a four fold increased risk of developing macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is usually associated with age and results in damage to the central vision. Being a smoker increases the risk greatly.

Smoking also increases the risk that you will develop cataracts. There is a particular type of smoking that increases the risk of cataracts and that is pipe smoking.

Uveitis is an inflammation of the uvea (middle section) of the eye. Laboratory studies shows that rats had an inflammatory response of acute aveitis when exposed to tobacco smoke.

A child’s continuous exposure to second hand smoke can cause allergic conjunctivitis and strabismus.

Strabismus is a condition that results in crossed eyes. Smoking with the child in the womb shows an increased incidence of strabismus among children.

Allergic conjunctivitis results when the conjunctiva becomes inflamed due to the presence of an allergen. Some studies have reported an increase of about 20% in children who are exposed to smoke in their environment.

There is much negative information about the dangers to the eyes and vision of smokers and those in continuous proximity to second hand smoke. If you must smoke, show you care for those around you by doing what you can to protect them.

2017-02-03T12:20:03-06:00July 23rd, 2012|Eye News|