While cigarettes might feel right at home tucked between your fingers, they actually destroy your health in a multitude of ways. Most particularly, smoking unleashes a wave of potential, long-lasting maladies on your eyes. Looking deeper into this, we see that almost every variant of chronic eye disease has a vibrant, can be linked to cigarette smoking.
Basically, smoking has the destabilizing capacity to impede the circulation of oxygen around your body most specifically to your eyes. Eventually, this distorts your vision with the prospect of culminating into full blindness. Furthermore, two of the most notorious eye conditions – age-related macular degeneration and cataracts – are largely brought on by smoking!
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Smoking
Let us start with the age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and its connection with smoking. It is an open secret that the more you smoke, the more vulnerable you become to age-related macular degeneration. The macula is that part of your eye responsible for you being able to see details clearly. Sadly, smoking damages the macula. While this cigarette-inspired damage could be gradual on the macula, in the long term, it will eventually render you blind.
Cataract and Smoking
Just like age-related macular degeneration, smoking makes you more vulnerable to the early onset of cataract. A cataract is formed as you age, when your lens begins to get denser with reducing transparency. As the lens gets thicker, it loses its flexibility and your vision begins to cloud over, eventually causing blindness unless the cataract afflicted lens is removed and replaced with an intraocular lens.
Smoking damages your lens, as tobacco generates free radicals which wreak havoc on your body’s cells – most particularly your eyes. This sparks the occurrence of cataracts. Thus, you will begin noticing your vision getting blurred, your color perception fading, your night vision deteriorating and even the case of double vision, much earlier than if you had you never smoked at all.
Smoking When Pregnant
It is even worse to smoke when pregnant. This is because smoking during pregnancy can affect the vision of your baby. More than harming the vision of your baby, smoking can cause premature childbirth. Still in line with this, when a baby is born prematurely, it stands the risk of being susceptible to retinopathy of prematurity. The latter is an eye condition that occurs when your baby’s eyes start growing blood vessels abnormally. Prematurity also exposes your baby to glaucoma, lazy eye detached retina, and even ultimately leading to blindness.
Smoking and TED
Talking further, people who have hyperthyroidism (also known as the overactive thyroid) are likely to develop thyroid eye disease (TED). TED in this regard could cause the abnormal profusion of your eye from the socket, thereby stretching your eyes wide open. In such a situation, it becomes difficult for your eyes to appropriately carry out coordinated eye movements. If you already have TED, it is time to ditch that cigarette.