Smoking and its adverse effects on your sight
More people are aware of the link between smoking and cancer, but many people do not know the impact that smoking can have upon the eyes.
Millions of people in Nigeria are putting their sight at risk by continuing to smoke, medical experts warn.
Despite the clear connection between sight loss and smoking, only 2 in 10 people recognize that smoking can lead to blindness.
Smokers are twice as likely to have eye problems and lose their sight compared with non-smokers.
That is because Tobacco in itself can cause or worsen a number of eye conditions.
How can smoking cause adverse effects on your eyes?
Yes it can! Cigarette smoke contains toxic chemicals that can irritate and harm the eyes.
For example, heavy metals, such as lead and copper, can collect in the lens - the transparent bit that sits behind the pupil and brings rays of light into focus - and lead to cataracts, where the lens becomes cloudy.
Smoking can make diabetes-related sight problems worse by damaging blood vessels at the back of the eye (the retina).
Smokers are threefold more likely to get age-related macular degeneration - a condition where a person loses their ability to see fine details, meaning their central vision has been affected.
And they are over 10 times more likely than non-smokers to develop sudden loss of vision caused by optic neuropathy, where the blood supply to the eye becomes shut out.
Stopping or avoiding smoking is one of the best steps you can take to protect your vision, along with having regular sight/eye examinations.
"Smoking increases the risk of sight-threatening conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration, which is an important reason why smokers should consider quitting."