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Smoking & Eye Disease
Eye problems that are made worse by smoking:
- Dry Eye: When your eyes do not have enough – or the right kind of – tears.
- Cataracts: Smoking increases your risk of developing cataracts, a clouding of your eye’s naturally clear lens.
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): A disease that happens when a part of the retina called the macula is damaged. You lose your central vision and cannot see fine details.
- Diabetic retinopathy: Smokers who also have diabetes risk getting diabetic retinopathy. This is when blood vessels in the eye are damaged which causes blurry or distorted vision and possibly blindness.
- Optic nerve problems: Smokers risk having optic nerve problems. Damage to the optic nerve can lead to irreversible blindness.
- Uveitis: Smoking can lead to a disease that affects part of the eye called the uvea. Uveitis is when this layer becomes inflamed (red and swollen). This disease causes red eye, pain and vision problems.
- Graves’ disease: This is a disease of the body’s thyroid gland. One of the symptoms of Graves’ disease is bulging eyes. Smokers who have Graves’ disease risk having their eye condition get worse. They can also lose vision.
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