By now, you probably know that smoking can create a wealth of health problems, with many of them directly linked to fatal diseases, like cancer and heart disease.

But how does smoking affect your eyesight? Can smoking lead to vision loss?

In a word, yes. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways smoking can lead to vision loss, including the most common conditions that can rob you of your vision.

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How Smoking Leads to Vision Loss

1. Smoking increases risk for cataracts.

Studies have shown that heavy smokers (15+ cigarettes) are up to three times more likely to develop cataracts. When left unchecked or untreated, cataracts can lead to significant vision loss and, in some cases, total blindness.

2. Smoking can lead to diabetic retinopathy.

Smoking is directly linked to diabetes, which means that smokers are more likely to suffer from diabetic retinopathy than nonsmokers. This condition can cause nerve damage as well as lead to vision loss.

3. Smokers suffer from severe dry eye.

Dry eye can be debilitating in smokers, as it causes significant irritation, redness, excessive watering, and more. Research has shown that smokers are twice as likely to suffer from dry eye as nonsmokers.

4. Smoking can lead to AMD and glaucoma.

Make no mistake: There’s a strong connection between glaucoma and smokers, as smoking increases the risks of blood pressure, cataracts, and heart disease. All of these conditions have been linked to the development of glaucoma, which can be a debilitating condition that may rob you of your vision.

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Take the Next Step

If you’re a smoker or have a history of smoking, and you have concerns about your eye health, schedule a consultation with ophthalmologist Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths at NewView Eye Center in Reston, VA today. Dr. Griffiths can develop a plan that helps protect your vision for years to come. 703-834-9777