The Link Between Smoking and Sight Loss
Tobacco chemicals are causing damage to the blood vessels in your eyes

The Link Between Smoking and Sight Loss

Currently there are a staggering 1.1 billion smokers in the world (8 million of those in the UK) - this means that each and every one of those 1.1 billion people has a significantly higher risk of suffering from eye disease than non-smokers.

Although there have been quite a number of campaigns which strongly highlight the link between smoking and eye disease, 90% of us are still unaware of the dangers that smoking presents to the health of our eyes. Encouragingly though, 60% of smokers surveyed for the Healthy Eyes report confessed that the thought of damaging their sight would be enough of an incentive to quit the habit.

Sight loss... the chances are doubled

Smoking can cause permanently dry and irritated eyes. More worryingly however, according to RNIB published research, smokers are twice as likely to lose their sight in later life than non-smokers. Chemicals in tobacco damage the blood vessels behind the eye, which increases the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Smoking is also associated with other eye diseases such as cataracts.

Smoking can cause permanently dry and irritated eyes
Smoking can cause permanently dry and irritated eyes

Lose the habit, not your sight

Next month sees Stoptober, where over 164,000 people (correct at the time of writing) will participate in a 28 day, smoke-free challenge. If people manage 28 days without smoking, they are 5 times more likely to quit for good. There is no charity associated with the campaign, but many participants vouch to donate money that would otherwise be spent on cigarettes.

And that brings us to the end of National Eye Health Week! We hope you've learned a lot from these articles. Click here to read all our posts from the past week.