Smokers more likely to experience vision loss


Research indicates smoking increases risk of AMD, cataracts and glaucoma

Image credit: AdobeStock/Karen Roach

(Image credit: AdobeStock/Karen Roach)

The risks associated with smoking are not limited to increased risks of cancer and heart disease. Smoking also can be detrimental to vision. In fact, smokers are more likely to experience visual loss, according to a press release issued by Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, in anticipation of National No Smoking Day on Wednesday 13 March in the UK.

Consultant ophthalmologist Mr Luke Nicholson, who leads the medical retina services at Moorfields Eye Hospital, flags the increased associated risks with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Eye care providers at Moorfields state that more public awareness is needed regarding the risks associated with smoking and sight loss, because less is known about the effects of smoking on ocular health.

According to Mr Nicholson, “In my role, I have seen the negative impact that smoking has on patients. Quitting smoking brings clear benefits to our health but also protects our retina from developing some irreversible diseases and safeguards our vision.”

Research shows that smoking has been associated with increasing the risk of developing AMD, cataracts and glaucoma.

AMD is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK. If patients already have some form of AMD, research indicates that smoking may also be associated with progression to more advanced forms of the disease.

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