As part of No Smoking Day which took place earlier this month, the College of Optometrists highlighted the dangers smoking can have on a person’s health and specifically on their eyesight.
The research says smokers are increasing their risk of developing serious eye conditions including cataracts, contact lens-related corneal ulcers and retinal vein occlusions.
Daniel Hardiman-McCartney, Clinical Adviser for the College of Optometrists, commented: “We all know that smoking has a detrimental effect on health, but it’s important to highlight the lesser known effect that it can have on eyesight, one of people’s most valued senses.
“I would urge any smokers who are worried about the effect it may be having on their eyes to talk to their optometrist.”
Studies have found that people who stopped smoking 20 years ago have a similar risk of developing AMD to non-smokers, with the risk starting to decrease after 10 years of not smoking.
But an area of study where little research has been carried out is how electronic cigarettes or Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) affects vision.
Research published by the University College London shows that more than one million smokers in England used electronic cigarettes when trying to quit last year.
The College of Optometrists is calling for more research to be carried out into the possible consequences of e-cigarettes.