WE all know that it’s not healthy for you to smoke, but few people know that it can also affect your vision.
This month I wanted to explain the links between smoking and eye sight to help readers give up.
- How can smoking affect my eyes?
- When you inhale a cigarette, approximately 4,000 chemicals such as nicotine, tar, arsenic and ammonia enter your bloodstream and travel throughout your body. Some of these substances cause blood vessels at the back of the eye to burst, damaging the macula and ultimately leading to loss of vision. This is known as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of severe vision loss for people over the age of 55 in the Western world. Smokers more than double their risk of developing AMD.
AMD is a degenerative retinal eye disease that causes progressive loss of central vision.
AMD affects the macula – the part of the retina responsible for clear vision needed for daily activities such as reading or driving.
According to the World Health Organisation the only established modifiable risk factor is smoking.
As well as the early onset of AMD, smokers also have a higher likelihood of developing cataracts, a common cause of blindness and visual impairment.
In addition, nicotine slowly poisons the optic nerve, causing impaired colour vision.
Specsavers Opticas is currently offering free eye tests. There are Specsavers stores in Marbella and Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol, to make an appointment or find your nearest store visit www.specsavers.es.