Laguna Hills patients are advised about the risks of smoking to dry eye disease and other conditions
Consumers are regularly warned of the effect tobacco products have on the body. Health organizations in the United States recognize smoking as the largest preventable instigator of disease and cause of premature death today.
Because we so often think of the major health effects of tobacco use, including cancer and heart disease, we can easily overlook the impact that tobacco, particularly smoking, has on the eyes.
Smoking and dry eye disease[img1]We regularly see patients from Laguna Hills and surrounding areas for dry eye disease. This syndrome occurs when there are insufficient tears covering the surface of the eye. Tears are a necessary component of ongoing eye health, vision, and physical comfort. Without sufficient lubrication from tears, eyes may feel irritated, as if something is in the eye. Redness and itchiness can occur, and eyes may water excessively.
Cigarettes contain not only tobacco, but also chemicals that cause irritation to the eyes, as well as the tiny vessels within facial tissues. If dry eye disease is already a problem, smoke, even second-hand smoke, will worsen symptoms. The effect is even worse for those who wear contacts. Smokers are twice as likely to experience dry eye syndrome.
Smoking and macular degeneration
Macular degeneration is a condition that may affect a person as he or she gets older. This condition occurs in the center of the retina, where central vision is located. The blind spots that occur in macular degeneration can cause significant impairment, making it difficult to read, drive, and perform daily tasks.
Studies on the effects of smoking indicate that those who smoke are three times as likely to develop age-related macular degeneration as those who do not smoke. Studies also show that the risk of age-related macular degeneration significantly increases, by five and a half times, in female smokers over the age of eighty, compared to non-smokers.
Understanding the effects smoking has on the body, including the eyes, can enable you to take control over your health, your vision, and your total wellbeing. Dr. Salib offers solutions to dry eye disease and other eye conditions, helping you preserve this precious sense.
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We can help you care for your eyes. Call The Orange CountyEye Institute to schedule your eye exam.
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