Many articles are published regarding the unhealthy effects of smoking on the body but these articles are usually talking only about the lungs. However, smoking can also have harmful consequences on your eyes and vision.
You do not need to be a smoker to be subjected to the list of harmful side effects. Most young children do not smoke cigarettes but are frequently exposed to second-hand smoke in their home, their family car or other closed environments. This process is also known as passive smoking.
Passive smoking can lead to several different eye diseases for children. The first condition is strabismus; this is when a child develops cross eyes. When a pregnant women smokes, the chances increase by 655% that their child will be born with this condition.
Allergic conjunctivitis is another condition that can come from passive smoking. When this occurs, the conjunctiva become inflamed because of an allergen that is in the air. When children are exposed to passive smoke in their environment, their risk of developing allergic conjunctivitis increases by 20%.
In adults, there are other diseases and conditions that are related to smoking. There is strong evidence that the risk of cataracts (a clouding of the eye), is greatly increased by smoking, with pipe smoking being especially dangerous in this situation. The risk for nuclear cataracts increases by 300%. There is also support for the fact that smoking will also increase the risk of sub-capsular posterior cataracts.
Another condition named uvetitis may also result from smoke exposure. This ailment is described as an inflammation of the middle part of your eye called the uvea. Studies done on rats have shown that the endotoxin chemical found in tobacco smoke can cause this inflammation.
Age related macular degeneration also is related to smoking. Smokers are three times more likely to get this disease compared to non-smokers. The results are a deterioration of your vision as you get older. The correlation here is stronger than many other smoking disorders. It has been found that not only are smoking and macular degeneration strongly associated with each other, but smoking is actually a direct cause of the condition.
The harmful effects of smoking are abundant throughout your body. These conditions should be taken very seriously and if you have any questions or concerns at all, you must speak to your doctor or eye care professional.