While it is a known fact that smoking can cause lung cancer and a myriad of other medical conditions, the link between smoking and vision problems has also been confirmed.

Smoking can lead to cataracts. Among the many problems caused by cataracts is the inability to see clearly, difficulty in distinguishing colors, and becoming sensitive to glare. Eventually, intervention through surgical procedures such as Lasik surgery is required.

In older men and women, macular degeneration can be caused by smoking. Studies have shown that this condition is prevalent among smokers and is evidenced by two types of AMD or age-related macular degeneration. The first is called atrophic or dry AMD and the second is called exudative or wet AMD.

When diagnosed with dry AMD, the retina becomes thin. Conversely, wet AMD causes blood vessels to grow in the retina, which begin to leak blood, causing the macula to become damaged. Lasik surgery is the recommended procedure to correct the problem.

In addition, diabetics who smoke are more prone to develop diabetic retinopathy, a condition which causes damage to the blood vessels. In fact, even the optic nerve can be damaged due to smoking.

Those who have poor diets are also at risk of developing vision loss. And smokers who have thyroid problems can find their vision deteriorating as well.

You may have seen commercials for people who suffer from dry eye. This is due to the decreased production of tears which is essential in keeping the eyes lubricated. Smoking inhibits this lubrication and causes a myriad of symptoms related to dry eyes.

Finally, while women are strongly advised not to smoke during pregnancy since it may cause low birth weight as well as premature birth, studies have shown that smoking during pregnancy may also cause the child to develop meningitis later on. This condition can in turn have an adverse affect on the child’s cornea and cause pink eye.

Here is an interesting fact: If someone’s eyes are exposed to carbon monoxide liquid, the first aid implementation is to flush out the eyes with water for 15 minutes, then seek immediate medical attention. If you are a smoker, look on a pack of cigarettes and read the Surgeon General’s Warning: “Cigarette Smoke Contains Carbon Monoxide.”

The link between smoking and vision problems has been clinically documented. This can also be tied to the growing number of Lasik operations performed each year. It is certainly clear that smoking has a devastating effect on the eyes of children and adults alike.

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