How Smoking Affects the Eye

How often our eyes catch the random statutory warning “Smoking is injurious to health” and yet many times unbaffled by the parlance, we smoke. What cigarette smoke can do to your eyes is even more harmful than what we assume. Along with the lungs and other organs, your eyes too bear the blunt. Knowingly or unknowingly we share responsibility of ruining ourselves just for momentary delight. Eye being the most vital sense organ and your window to the world, let not smoke lead your sight to blindness!

Why is smoking harmful for your eyes?

  • Age-related Macular Degeneration: Smoking is major risk factor for AMD. Smoking can cause types of Age related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and the progression is accelerated due to smoking. It ultimately blurs the central part of your field of vision and can cause vision loss making it difficult to see minute details. AMD can occur with or without smoking, even then when one smokes the chances increase two to three fold than non smokers.
  • Cataracts: As you already know Cataracts are a part of aging and most commonly found with advancing age. Smoking gives cataracts an invite prematurely thereby letting the turmoil of vision issues to encounter early unnecessarily.
  • Diabetic retinopathy: Smoking damages the blood vessels in the eye and makes you insulin resistant causing diabetic retinopathy, a damage to the eye’s retina.
  • Ischemic Optic Neuropathy: Smoking damages the optic nerve as the blood flow gets decreased experiencing a sudden vision loss in most cases.

Researchers have linked how smoking could cause Dry Eyes (insufficient tear production), Tobacco Amblyopia (lazy eye), Glaucoma, Thyroid Eye Disease, Graves disease, Uveitis (inflammation inside the eye). Tobacco smoking decreases the circulation and oxygen flow to the eye resulting in impairing vision in many ways. Eye disorders caused due to smoking if left untreated could cause permanent blindness. Smokers experience the defect of the colour fields. Smoking lets thousands of toxic chemicals enter the blood stream impairs not your vision but creates a disastrous body and mind damage.

Smoking and children:

  • Smoking during pregnancy could cause serious harm to the fetus as toxins are passed on through the placenta to the fetus. An increased risk to strabismus (cross eyes) in children and premature birth could occur.
  • Children are usually innocent victims of second hand smoke as they may be too young to really understand the actual harm it can cause. Are we sparing our innocent little’s ones from the devastating second hand smoke? How passive smokers are exposed to the risk like the actual smokers becoming a victim has no bounds. Moreover when you smoke, your child may also pick up to smoke.

Quit smoking and benefit!

  • You could reverse or halt progression of eye diseases depending of severity and other factors. Do get eyes checked regularly.
  • Find ways to overcome or reduce exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. (Passively or actively).
  • An encouragement for others to refrain from tobacco smoke by setting an example.
  • Also you save financially.

If you have never smoked, better refrain.

If you are a smoker, there is better choice than a life in darkness.

On this ‘WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY’, let’s surge ahead with determination towards a smoke free and healthy life!

For consultation and details, get in touch with Shroff Eye Hospital (Bandra/Marine Lines)

(Call on 022 6692100 or mail to

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