Smoking-related to dry eyes and other conditions treated in our Laguna Hills office
Warnings about the health effects of tobacco use have been ongoing for several years. United States health organizations have identified tobacco use and smoking as the number one preventable cause of disease and premature death.
The primary focus of tobacco warnings tends to revolve around significant diseases; such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Smoking, in particular, has many more effects on the body, including the eyes.
Dry eye disease linked to smoking
Dry eyes may seem like a frustrating problem; but, there is more to it than that. In our Laguna Hills eye institute, we perform a thorough consultation and examination on each patient to identify areas of concern, factors involved, and potential solutions. Dry eye disease is the condition in which the tears produced or retained in the eye are insufficient to keep the eye healthy and comfortable. Tears are a vital component to eye health, as they are what keep the surface of the eye lubricated. Without adequate tears, the eyes may become exceedingly watery and they may be itchy and red more often than not.
The problem with smoking and dry eyes
Cigarettes are not just tobacco. They are also infused with various chemicals. As smoke is released near the eyes, remnants of these chemicals become absorbed. They are also absorbed into the skin, where irritation to capillaries can cause them to burst, making tiny red veins visible on the cheeks and nose. If a dry eye disease is already present, exposure to smoke will exacerbate the problem. There is a twofold chance that a smoker will develop dry eye disease compared to the nonsmoker.
Macular degeneration linked to smoking
Macular degeneration is an age-related eye condition that involves the central area of focus in the eye: the retina. Individuals with macular degeneration may experience blind spots that impair normal activities like driving or reading.
Research on smoking and eye health suggests that this habit increases the chances of macular degeneration threefold. The risk for older women who smoke is even greater; coming in at five and a half times more than a non-smoking female over 80 years of age.
There are so many ways that you can take better control over your health and wellness. Vision is a large part of this picture. Seeing how smoking impacts the bodily functions that create quality living is a great first step.
For dry eye disease solutions in Orange County, visit Dr. George Salib in Laguna Hills.