31st May is World No-Tobacco Day and this yearly celebration informs the public on the dangers of using and smoking tobacco and what people around the world can do to quit smoking and have a healthier lifestyle. The World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 on 31st May to draw attention to tobacco-related health issues and the preventable death and disease it causes.
There are many health benefits to quitting smoking for your eyes and is one of the best steps you can take to protect your vision and eyesight.
The 3 most common eye conditions related to smoking is:
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
AMD is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK. Smokers are up to 4x more likely to develop the condition than those who don’t smoke. AMD affects the central part of your vision. There are two types of AMD – wet AMD, which can usually be treated with injections in the eye, and dry AMD, for which there is currently very little effective treatment. AMD can be diagnosed easily by ophthalmologists using retinal imaging devices. These devices take a detailed high quality image of the back of the eye – or retina, to see any anomalies or pathologies. You can see our product range of retinal imagining devices of fundus cameras, here. These include products such as the Eidon, DRSplus and HOCT.
Smoking can double the risk and likelihood of developing cataracts, which cause the lens inside your eye to become cloudy and hard. Smoking causes cataracts to develop more rapidly than normal, meaning surgery is needed sooner to replace the clouded lens with a clear plastic one.
- Dry eye
Dry eye can make your eyes feel sore and itchy and cause them to water. Dry eye can be defined as a disorder that is caused by tear deficiency or excessive tear evaporation. If left untreated it can cause damage to the ocular surface, cause tear instability and tear hyperosmolarity . Smoking often causes dry eye to get worse, due to smoke blowing in and around the eyes. Second hand smoke can cause this too.
The best way to avoid these conditions is to stop smoking (or never start!) and have regular eye tests every 2 years.