Smoking and Eye Health


The effects of smoking on your heart and lungs are commonly known, but what isn’t always discussed is the effect smoking can have on your eyes. Smoking can lead to vision loss through a variety of diseases, and smokers are four times more likely to go blind in their old age than non-smokers.


What types of diseases can affect my eye health through smoking?

Macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy are among the possible effects smoking can have on your eye health.

Macular Degeneration, which affects the retina, is a leading cause of blindness in Americans. Smoking triples your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration, and the problem increases as you grow older.

Cataracts, which blur the natural lens of the eye, are one of the top causes of blindness around the world. Smoking doubles your chances of developing cataracts.

Uveitis, which is inflammation of the eye's middle layer, or uvea, can also lead to complete vision loss. Studies have linked smoking to the growth of uveitis, and smokers’ chances of developing this disease are double that of non-smokers.

Diabetic Retinopathy is another disease that can affect a smokers eye health far more than non-smokers. Studies have shown that smoking can as much as double your chances of developing diabetes, and from there smoking increases the probability you will develop diabetic retinopathy, which also can lead to complete vision loss.

Infant Eye Disease is a great risk for women who smoke during pregnancy. The toxins from smoking can affect an infant's eye health by leading to crossed eyes or the underdevelopment of the optic nerve, the leading cause of blindness in children. Since smoking also increases the risk of delivering prematurely, problems associated with a premature birth, such as retinopathy, are greater.

How can my Lubbock, TX eye doctor help with my smoking and eye health?

While no one can make the decision for you to quit smoking, your Lubbock, TX eye doctor at the Vision Center can monitor your eye health and warn you of potential problems. Call us for an appointment today at (806) 793-1927 for our Central Lubbock TX location and 806-793-1928 for our South Lubbock TX location. We’re here to help!

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