It is safe to say that most people in the world today are aware of the harmful effects of smoking. Everyone should also be aware of the connection between smoking, heart disease and lung cancer.
Yet it amazes me to see how many people still smoke and worse still how many people are taking this habit up knowing the dangers and risks! That said, smoking has decreased significantly over the past 20 years however seems to have plateaued over the past 5 years.
As I mentioned earlier most people know the connection between smoking and heart and lung disease but how many know that smoking and eye disease are also linked?
On average, people who smoke about 1 packet per day have more than 2.5 times the risk of macular degeneration. They are also at higher risk of getting cataracts and diabetic eye disease.
And if all this isn't reason enough to stop smoking, breaking the habit is even more important if you have diabetes or want to avoid it!
If you smoke and think you are otherwise in great shape, think again. Smoking between 16 and 25 cigarettes per day increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes by 3 times that of a non-smoker.
Quitting this habit is not easy, but the benefits are huge. It is difficult to see the damage that smoking causes to the lungs when you visit your GP, damages to the eyes however are quite clear.
When having an eye exam, your optometrist is in a position to take digital retinal images which can show you the damage that has been caused to your macula.
At The Eye Practice we are able to not only take digital retinal images, we are also able to take OCT images that show damage on an even more microscopic level. The sooner you stop smoking, the sooner the body can start repairing itself.
In future posts we will discuss Smoking and Eye Disease in more detail.