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Smoking and Its Impact on Eye Health


Dr Varun Malhotra
Dr Varun Malhotra
2 min read

Smoking causes cancer. It is possibly the most popular precautionary advice/ warning a smoker receives. However, Smoking does a lot more harm to a human’s body than we expect. Did you know smoking can adversely affect your eye health?

Habitual smoking can cause various eye problems. It is a fact proved through a series of meticulous researches.  The most prominent impact of smoking on our eye health includes these eye problems:

  • Cataract

Cataract is one of the most prominent causes of vision loss. Moreover, smoking is the most preventable cause of development of cataract. People who smoke are twice as much at risk of developing cataract than non-smokers. 

  • Diabetic Retinopathy

Smoking is excessively harmful to people who are suffering from diabetes. Habitual smoking can lead the diabetic patients to an eye disorder known as diabetic retinopathy. Studies note that smoking makes diabetic patients more prone to diabetic retinopathy.

  • Uveitis

Uveitis is an ocular disorder causing inflammation of the uvea. A study indicates that smoking can enhance the risk of uveitis up to 2.2 times. It is important to note that uveitis can gradually cause complete loss of vision.

  • Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration refers to an eye problem that results in the development of blind spots. Hence, it impairs the central vision. Researchers and reports suggest that people who smoke are three-fold prone to this problem in comparison with people who do not smoke. 

  • Dry Eyes

Tobacco is a common eye irritant. It tends to leave our eyes dry and itchy. Thus, if you are an active smoker or have been exposed to tobacco smoke passively, you tend to develop the problem of dry eyes.