- Eye Health
Smokers Are Blind to the Risk of Sight Loss
Lose the habit, not your sight
We have teamed up with national sight charity, the Eyecare Trust1, to highlight the damage smoking can do to your sight, after a study reveals 90% of smokers are unaware of the link between smoking and blindness2.
Damage caused by toxins in tobacco smoke dramatically increases a smoker's risk of developing a range of sight-threatening eye conditions. Simply lighting up a cigarette more than doubles your risk of suffering Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) - the UK's leading cause of blindness, glaucoma and nuclear cataracts3.
And, if you already have a genetic predisposition to it, a smoker's chances of developing AMD are a staggering 100 times greater than that of a non-smoker3.
Smoking can also leave your eyes feeling permanently dry, sore and irritated and chemical poisoning of the optic nerve will impair your colour vision, leaving every day activities such as driving potentially hazardous.
Early detection of conditions such as AMD, cataracts and glaucoma is vital to ensure permanent sight loss is minimised so regular eye examinations, once every two years, are particularly important if you smoke.
The good news for everyone who successfully quits the habit is the increased risks of sight loss associated with smoking do begin to reduce over time - a person who stopped smoking 20 years ago will now have the same risk of developing AMD as a non-smoker.
According to the Office of National Statistics almost a quarter of all UK adults (22%) still smoke. However, 68% say they WANT to give up.
The Bidwell study found fear of blindness has been shown to be as compelling a reason to stop smoking as fear of lung cancer, heart disease and strokes.
Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 different chemicals including tar, arsenic and ammonia.
Log-on to www.nosmokingday.org.uk for more information about National No Smoking Day. Visit www.eyecaretrust.org.uk for more information about how smoking can affect your vision or for more information please do not hesitate to contact us.