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Smoking and vaping can cause serious eye problems

Smoking and vaping can cause serious eye problems

Tuesday 08 October 2019

Stoptober is a key time of the year for people wanting to quit smoking or vaping. Throughout the month of October, users of the addictive drugs are targeted by marketing and healthcare professionals to help them explore alternatives and advice, ultimately culminating in stopping the bad habit.

However, many people don’t realise that smoking and vaping is affecting your eyes, not just your lungs.

Smoking can be detrimental to our sight, causing an increased risk of dry eye, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This can then lead to blindness.

Specsavers clinical spokesperson Dr Nigel Best says:

"While traditional tobacco smokers remain the most at risk of developing AMD, research also indicates that vapour from e-cigarettes can cause irritation and lead to dry eye syndrome.

AMD affects around 600,000 people in the UK alone and smokers are more likely to suffer from this eye condition than non-smokers.”

Smoking can also affect eye health by:

1) Damaging the blood vessels in the eyes
2) Can interfere with the production of tears
3) Reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches the eye
4) On average, smokers develop AMD five years earlier than those who don’t smoke
5) People who wear contact lenses and smoke are more likely to suffer from ulcers in the eye

Karen Osborn, chief executive of the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) adds: "In extreme cases where it leads to vision loss, glaucoma can become a very isolating condition. While it hasn’t been directly linked to causing glaucomatous damage, smoking can play a part in increasing eye pressure so it is vital that people try to break the habit in order to reduce the risks to their eyes, as well as their overall health."


  1. Mirror.
  2. AOA.



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