The World Health Organization’s World “No Tobacco Day” occurs on May 31st every year. It was created to bring awareness to more people about the dangers and health risks of smoking tobacco.
We have heard for many years about the damage smoking can do to the heart and lungs. Smoking can damage other organs of the body, including the eyes.
Studies have shown smoking increases the risk of damage from eye diseases such as:
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Dry Eye Syndrome
Smoking causes retinal blood vessels to constrict veins and then cannot drain blood from the retina. This leads to hemorrhages (bleeding) and leakage of fluid from the blocked blood vessels. This is called retinal vein occlusion. Retinal vein occlusion happens when a blood clot blocks the vein.
Secondhand smoke has been shown to be just as harmful as actual smoking when it comes to eye health and vision.
Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of premature birth, which can lead to the baby having a serious eye problem called retinopathy of prematurity causing severe vision loss or blindness.
The American Cancer Society has resources to help a person quit smoking. If not for yourself, quit for the loved ones in your life.