For years I have strongly encouraged my patients to give up smoking for the sake of their eye health and general health. Cigarette smoking increases your risk of developing eye diseases including age related macular degeneration (AMD). Our comprehensive eye health screening tests at Paul McCarthy Optometrist enable us to assess and monitor your eye health. AMD causes irreversible and potentially catastrophic vision loss and the risk factors are your age, a family history of AMD and whether or not you are a smoker. The retina is the powerhouse of your eye, processing all visual images and the macula is the powerhouse of your retina – you are reading this blog using your macula.
A recent study by Dr Simon Chen found that smoking just one cigarette significantly reduces the choroidal blood flow to your retina for over 3 hours. Just one cigarette! Dr Chen states “if you were to smoke only 8 cigarettes per day, your choroidal blood could be impaired for the whole 24 hours. That’s a pretty scary thought”. A very scary thought and a compelling reason to check your eye health and ditch the cigarettes.