Did You Know: Smoking Is Affecting Your Eyes

We all know smoking is harmful to us. But did you know that smoking can also damage your vision?quit smoking

Every time you breathe in cigarette smoke, you are poisoning yourself with up to 4,000 toxins. Harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke include nicotine, butane, carbon monoxide, arsenic, ammonia, methanol, and others.

Here are some scary but real facts why you should quit smoking to save your eyes.

1. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the centre of the retina which is responsible for the sharp vision required for driving or reading.

AMD is the most common eye disease associated with smoking. About 25% of AMD diagnosed is as a result of tobacco smoking. Studies have shown that smoking can double the risk of someone developing AMD.

Female smokers over the age of 80 are more likely to develop AMD than other non-smoking females in the same age group. Damage to the retina as a result of AMD is non-reversible. In the worst case, it can lead to permanent blindness.

Quit smoking now and lower the risk of developing a debilitating disease like AMD.

2. Uveitis

Uveitis refers to the inflammation of the middle eye. Uveitis is responsible for conditions like glaucoma, cataracts and retinal detachment.

Smokers are 2.4 times more likely to develop uveitis than non-smokers because the toxins from tobacco smoke can irritate the middle eye and cause inflammation.

3. Dry eyes and Related Conditions

Dry eye syndrome occurs when there are not enough tears to lubricate the eyes. This can cause sufferers to experience eye redness, irritation, watery eyes and a condition that feels like there is a ‘foreign body’ inside the eye.

Smoke from the tobacco can aggravate the condition by drying out the eye. Even contact-lens wearer are not spared as smoke can penetrate the membranes of the lens.

4. Physical

Quit smoking if you are concerned about the way you look. Smoking can age a person ten times more than another who does not smoke. Smokers have a high concentration of MMP-2 enzymes in their skin which can reduce collagen and elasticity.

Smokers develop obvious wrinkles and crow feet around their eyes, making them look older than they really are. Smoking also causes under eye dark circles that can be unsightly and unflattering.

5. Smoking and eye disease in children

Smoking around young children can have detrimental results to their health and well-being. Women who smoke during their pregnancy transmit dangerous toxins through the placenta to the fetus. Smoking increases the chance of miscarriage and premature births in pregnant women.

It can also expose the infant to fetal and infant eye disorders like strabismus (crossed eye) as a result of an underdeveloped optic nerve. Other conditions babies can suffer from include retinopathy of prematurity.

Children living in a smoke-filled environment are also more susceptible to conjunctivitis or other forms of eye irritation.

Ready to quit?

Hypnosis is a therapeutic tool that is highly effective in helping you quit smoking. It is a natural state of mind induced in normal everyday living. The hypnotherapist uses a variety of approaches including relaxation techniques to help the subject acquire the will to quit smoking.

Essentially, using hypnosis to quit smoking is about focusing, disassociating, suggesting and internalising the issue. It is a powerful tool to empower the mind to quit smoking.

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