Smoking Cigarettes and Your Eyes

Cigarettes are slowly being pushed out of all indoor areas in North America, and our eyes are thankful.  There are up to 4000 active compounds in cigarette smoke that are harmful to our eyes.  The health effects on our lungs, heart, mouth, and other parts are well known, but our eyes are affected as well and this is less known.
 
Research has found that smokers have twice the risk of cataracts, and even three times as much for heavy smokers.  Doctors believe that smoking causes oxidation on the cells of the lens of the eye, as well as formation of heavy metals.  Macular degeneration is the deterioration of hte macula, the core of the retina that enables us to see fine details.  As the macula wears, we have blurrieness, distortion, and even blind spots in our vision.  Smoking increases all of these.
 
Other related issues could also be diabetic retinopathy, optic nerve damage, lazy eye, conjunctivis, and dry eyes.  Although your eyes can heal from the damage done by cigarette smoke, it’s slow, so if you can, avoid smoking.

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