Smoking And Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Ready for another reason to quit smoking? Tobacco use is linked to numerous health complications throughout the body, from oral cancer to asthma.
Did you know that it’s also the biggest preventable risk factor for age-related macular degeneration?
What Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?
- AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in adults over 65.
- AMD is not curable, but we can usually treat it and slow its progress.
- You can lower your risk of AMD by quitting smoking.
- If you already have AMD, you can slow its progression by quitting smoking.
AMD affects the center of the retina (the macula) which is responsible for sharp, central vision–the type of vision you need in order to read, or to drive. Usually, AMD manifests itself through blind spots, shadows, or skewed sections of your vision.
AMD Risk Is 3-4 Times Greater For Smokers
We’re not actually sure why smoking would contribute to AMD, even though the connection has been confirmed in multiple studies. We know that smoking greatly increases the toxicity in your body. Many health professionals believe that smoking relates to AMD because it impedes your eye’s ability to repair and maintain itself.
By the way, smoking can also increase your risk for cataracts, uveitis, and diabetic retinopathy–all dangerous conditions that can lead to vision loss, and blindess.
Quit Today, And Your Risk Has Already Gone Down
We know that quitting is hard, but it’s just about the best thing you can do to improve your health–not just for your eyes, but for your whole body. Keep a positive perspective. Just days after quitting, your body already starts the healing process, and your risk for AMD has already started going down.
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Regular Vision Exams Are Essential
If you smoke, make sure that you have regular eye exams. Many vision problems develop slowly, and painlessly. But catching them early can save your vision! Contact us if you have any questions.
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