One important thing smokers should realize about the harms of smoking is that it literally affects every organ in your body, including your eyes. Risking your eyesight is definitely something you want to consider. All the different ways smoking can affect your eyesight leads to blindness, which can change your life completely. Here are three of the specific ways smoking can seriously damage your eyesight:
- AMD: AMD is age-related macular degeneration. This is a disease that causes people to go blind. The reason this happens is that the disease causes the macula to deteriorate. The macula is where the retina is formed and the retina is what helps you see share details. Smokers are at a high risk of developing this disease and at a much younger age, whereas those who don't smoke can be affected, but not until much later in their life and their chances are still much slimmer than a smokers.
- Cataracts: Smoking doubles the chance of cataracts, which is the leading cause of blindness. Cataracts don't just cause sudden blindness either. Instead, you can expect your eyesight to deteriorate slowly. This includes blurred vision, double vision, light sensitivity, and limited night vision. All of this is going to affect your ability to drive and participate in other daily activities that you are used to. The worst consequence is having to have surgery to remove the cataracts completely, which can be quite uncomfortable and difficult to recover from although it can reverse the affects. However, as you continue smoking, you can still suffer from other problems with your eyesight that won't make the surgery you had worth it.
- Retinopathy: Smokers easily damage their blood vessels because smoking reduces proper blood flow in the body. When this happens, it can affect eyesight because it causes bleeding to happen in the eyes. When this happens, you lose proper oxygen to the retina, which causes blindness. If you also have diabetes, this makes the chances of developing this go up significantly.
Visiting an eye doctor at a place like Northwest Ophthalmology is extremely important. You should even be visiting more than the average person does. This way, your eye doctor can come up with possible solutions to reverse the affects smoking is taking on your eyesight. However, the chances of this are still slim, so it's better to find resources to help you quit while also talking to your eye doctor about what to do to reverse any of the problems that are currently going on with your eyes.