Skip to main content
Home » What's New » Does Smoking Affect Vision?

Does Smoking Affect Vision?

Eye Doctors Weigh In: How Smoking Can Harm Your Vision & Eye Health

We all know that smoking is bad for you, especially the risks that it poses to your heart and lungs. What many people do not know is that cigarette smoke negatively affects your eyes and vision too. Smoking has been directly linked to an increase in the risks of both cataracts and macular degeneration, two leading causes of vision loss, and it is believed to be a factor in a number of other eye and vision issues. 

Smoking and Cataracts

Studies show that smoking doubles the risk of cataracts and with heavy smoking, the risk triples. In fact, there seems to be a direct correlation between the amount of smoking and the likelihood of cataracts. Cataracts are characterised by the clouding of the lens of the eye and it is believed that smoking affects the cells of the lens, accelerating this process. 

Cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss worldwide, however they can be treated surgically by removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial one. Symptoms include: 

    • Blurred, cloudy or dim vision 
    • Sensitivity to light and glare
    • Presence of halos around lights
    • Increasingly poor night vision
    • Fading color vision
    • Double vision
    • and frequent prescription changes with minimal improvement in vision 

Smoking and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

According to medical research, smoking increases the likelihood of developing age-related macular degeneration between two and four times the normal risk - the more you smoke, the greater the risk. Unfortunately, there is also an increased risk for those exposed to cigarette smoke for extended periods of time. 

Age-related macular degeneration or AMD is a condition in which the macula, which is the center of the retina, begins to to deteriorate, reducing central vision and the eye’s ability to see fine details. The disease is characterized by blurred and distorted eyesight and blind spots in the central vision. With time, the disease can progress to leave the person with low vision, which is significant vision loss that cannot be corrected by eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery. 

Other Eye and Vision Risks of Smoking

Smoking has also been linked to dry eyes, optic nerve damage and diabetic retinopathy (for those with diabetes). 

"Eye Vitamins" are often used without doctor's recommendations. Smokers are cautioned not to take beta-carotene supplements, specifically, (or multi-vitamins containing this ingredient) as studies indicate there is increased risk of cancer even in people who quit smoking.

What to Do?

Even if you have been smoking for years, quitting will reduce the risks of developing these conditions, for yourself and those around you. If you do smoke, make sure to schedule a comprehensive eye exam every year to catch any developing disease early. Early diagnosis and treatment can be the key to saving your vision and preventing permanent vision loss. 


We are open and seeing patients!

Our office hours will return to normal,
but our operations will be very different from in the past.

For the safety of our patients and our employees, we are:

For the safety of our patients and our employees, we ask you to:

  • Reschedule if you are feeling ill. We will not be able to see you if you have had fever, upper respiratory issues, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, or loss of sense of taste or smell within the last 2 weeks. We will also not be able to see you if you have been in close contact with anyone who has had the previous symptoms or has been known to have COVID-19 in the last 2 weeks. We also ask you to reschedule if you have traveled via airplane, bus or train in the past 2 weeks.
  • Call us from your car upon arrival to our office.
    If you are picking up eyewear, we will bring it to you curbside.
    If you are coming for an appointment or eyewear purchase or repair, we will come to your car to screen your temperature and escort you inside the office.
  • Come alone to your visit. One guardian and/or caretaker is allowed with you inside the office as needed.
  • Bring your own mask and wear it the entire time you are in the office
  • Wash your hands immediately upon entering our office
  • Welcome to Texas State Optical Cypress

    Make an Appointment with:

    Welcome to Texas State Optical Cypress

     
    Appointment Form

    Call (281) 758-0008 ▸

    Take Me There

    Welcome to Texas State Optical Cypress

    Make an Appointment with:

    Welcome to Texas State Optical Cypress

    Make an Appointment with:

    Our Location

    26321 Northwest Fwy, #500
    Cypress, TX 77429