Effects of Smoking on Vision

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Nicotine present in cigarette smoke is known to have a negative effect on the production of antioxidants in the body. The number of antioxidants present in the blood falls considerably with incessant smoking. These antioxidants protect the retinal cells of the eyes. Thus smoking leads to the thinning of the protective layer between the retina and the blood vessels. With time the protective layer may erode completely. Thus, this leads to poor circulation of nutrients to the eyes and irritation.

The following are 6 known eye problems or diseases that you may encounter with incessant smoking.

1.Cataract- Cataract is a disorder in which the lens of the eye loses its transparent nature. Cataract is generally an age-related disorder, but smoking has been known to increase the susceptibility of the disorder. The type of cataract found in smokers is known as Nuclear Cataract. Though the exact reason why smoking leads to such a disorder is not known, various studies have thrown up the fact that a decrease in the production of antioxidants leads to this situation. Antioxidants are responsible for maintaining transparency in the eyes. Smoking also reduces the supply of other important micronutrients to the eyes.

2. Thyroid eye disease: This is an outcome in the Graves? disease, in which the thyroid gland becomes over active. And the thyroid eye disease is a part of this complete set of disorder. It has been found out that, smoking increases the probability of people encountering this eye disorder. The eye disease is characterized by double vision. At times, an uncontrolled situation can also lead to blindness. Though the reason is not clear, it is said that nicotine weakens the immune system of the body thus increasing the risk of the disease.

3.Optic Neuropathy: This is known to everybody that incessant smoking blocks arteries and also reduces the flow of blood to the body parts. Thus, less flow of blood may have a direct impact on the vision as it can damage the cells in the retina. If the situation not controlled cam lead to permanent blindness.

4. Age-related Macular degeneration: Also known as AMD, Age-related Macular degeneration is a disease in which the macula, which is a central retina at the back of the eye, is affected. And smoking increases the risk of people suffering from this disorder.

5.Diabetic Retinopathy: Again, smoking increases the risk of diabetes retinopathy manifolds. If uncontrolled the disorder can take form of blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is a condition in which the retina of the eye is damaged by the blood vessels that are high in glucose levels.

6. Eye irritation: This is the most common disorder seen with non smokers. Though passive smokers do not fall in the ambit of suffering from bid diseases or disorders, prevention should always be taken before hand.