Don’t stub out your senses: The impact of smoking on your sight

Quitting cigarettes does not only help to protect your lungs, it can reduce your risk of developing more than 50 health conditions – including those that affect your sight.

While traditional tobacco smokers remain the most at risk, vapers aren’t in the clear – research shows those who vape are 34% more likely to suffer from visual impairments than those who had never tried it .

Lisa James, store director of Specsavers Ópticas in Guardamar.

On World No Tobacco Day (May 31), the experts at Specsavers Ópticas explain the impact smoking can have. Lisa James, store director of Specsavers Ópticas in Guardamar, is passionate about the health benefits of quitting smoking, after stopping herself more than 20 years ago. She says: ‘We all know that smoking has a terrible effect on your lungs, but it can cause so many health problems around the body, including your eyes. Studies have shown that smoking can double your chances of developing cataracts, triple chances of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), increase the risk of uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye) and double the risk of diabetes, which in turn could lead to diabetic retinopathy .  

‘Research also indicates that vapour from e-cigarettes can cause irritation and lead to dry eye syndrome4 and have a higher impact on eye health compared to those who don’t vape at all .’

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