Why Our New Jersey and New York Optometrists Warn Against Smoking
It's well-known that smoking is harmful for your lungs, but many other organs and tissues in your body are harmed by cigarette smoke, too. At The Eye Health Group, our New Jersey and New York optometrist teams encourage our patients to kick the habit if they want to protect their vision.
Need some inspiration? Here are three ways smoking harms your eye health:
1. Causes Blurry Vision
Cigarettes contain thousands of harmful chemicals which can cause damaging oxidative stress to the delicate tissues in your eye, including your light-sensitive retinas. This accelerates cellular aging and can lead to blurry vision at both near and far away distances. Many smokers end up paying more for vision-correction prescriptions because their eyewear must be updated more frequently (and that's in addition to the expenses of buying cigarettes).
2. Leads to Eye Irritation
Being around cigarette smoke can cause the moisture-rich tear film on the outside of the eyes to dry up, which can lead to uncomfortable dry eye symptoms like itching, redness, and photosensitivity. By the way, it's not just the smoker who has to worry about smoke! Secondhand smoke can also lead to dry, itchy, and irritated eyes.
3. Causes or Worsens Common Eye Diseases
Smoking has been proven to increase the risk of common eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who have diabetes are more likely to suffer from diabetic retinopathy if they're also smokers. All of these conditions may lead to irreversible vision loss or even blindness.
Are You Due for an Eye Exam?
Whether you're a current smoker, a non-smoker, or a former smoker, it's so important to get your eyes checked regularly by a licensed eye doctor. If you live in or near East Springfield Township, NJ and are looking for an optometrist you can trust with your vision and eye care needs, contact The Eye Health Group today at (973) 376-7900 to schedule an eye exam.