Effects of Smoking on Eye Health

When we think about damage smoking causes we think lung cancer, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), and other lung diseases , However very often we do not think about the damage that smoke can cause to our eye health. Below are some of these damages outlined:

  1. Eye Irritation: A non smoker will suffer from eye irritation more frequently that a smoker , who would have become accustomed to the eye smoke. Nonetheless damage is still done.  Tobacco Smoke irritates and inflames the conjunctiva , a thin and clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye, Causing conjunctivitis.
  1. Dry eyes: Smoking deteriorates the lipid layer of the eye , which results in a dry gritty eye feeing. Tobacco smoke is a known eye irritant and worsens dry eye — even among passive smokers — particularly for contact lens wearers. Smokers are nearly two times more likely to suffer from dry eyes symptoms.
  1. Strabismus – crossed eyes. Children born to mothers who smoked during pregnancy have 38% higher risk of strabismus as compared to those who did not smoke while pregnant . Smoking in pregnancy also increases possibility of premature birth . Premature babies are at a greater risk of eye problems
  1. Cataracts: Smokers have a double chance of forming cataracts when compared to people who do not smoke. The more you smoke the greater the risk
  1. Macular Degeneration: It has been shown that smokers are at an increased risk of developing AMD compared to non smokers. AMD is a degenerative diseases which leads to blindness.

In order to maintain good overall health and to enjoy successful contact lens wear , its simple do not smoke or quit smoking.