As No Smoking Day approaches on Wednesday 9th March 2016, local opticians Edmonds and Slatter are making their patients aware of the risks of smoking which could see them losing their sight altogether.
A survey carried out ahead of No Smoking Day in 2013 found that just 15 per cent of smokers were concerned about the impact smoking has on their eye health. Perhaps this is because fatal effects of smoking such as heart disease and cancer are all too familiar, but sight-threatening vision and eye problems are generally less well-known.
Studies show that people who smoke double their chance of forming cataracts, and the risk continues to increase the more you smoke. Cataracts, which are a clouding of the lens in the eye, are a leading cause of blindness across the world. Smokers also have a three-fold risk of developing macular degeneration, which can cause blind spots in the vision making everyday tasks such as driving and reading difficult. The risks don’t stop there, with smokers and even second-hand smokers more likely to have uncomfortable dry eye problems.
The good news is that it’s never too late to quit! Quitting smoking at any age, even later in life, can significantly reduce your risk of developing many eye related diseases. Throughout March the opticians will be providing details of support services to help patients quit, and will be on hand to answer any questions they have about the effects of smoking on eye health.