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Smoking fact box Acknowledgements

One in six adults smoke.

Cigarettes contain 4,000

1. Perceptions of blindness related
to smoking: a hospital-based cross-
Smoking and
sight loss
sectional study, G Bidwell et al.
chemicals including tar,
arsenic and ammonia. 2. BMA Tobacco Control Resource
Centre 2006
Tobacco chemicals damage
3. Tayside University NHS Trust
blood vessels inside the
eye and interferes with 4. National Institute for Clinical
tear production and the Excellence
health of the cornea.
5. Satici A, Bitiren M, Ozardali I,
et al. Acta Ophthalmology Scand
Fear of blindness is as 2003;81:583-7
compelling a motivation
to quit smoking as fear of 6. Erb C; Nicaeus T; Adler M;
Isensee J; Zrenner E; Thiel HJ
lung cancer, heart disease,
Graefes Archive for Clinical
and stroke. Experimental Ophthalmology. vol.
237, no. 5 (1999 May): 377-80.
This leaet has been
published to mark
National Eye Health Week
21 27 September 2015.

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Blind to the risk of Smoking is a key risk factor Smoking increases your the eyelids is sensitive to
sight loss for both wet and dry AMD. risk of developing cataracts airborne chemicals, fumes,
Smokers have a signicantly AMD is the leading cause of as tobacco toxins cause and irritative gases that
greater risk of sight loss blindness in the developed oxidative damage to the lens originate in tobacco smoke.
than non-smokers. world and aects 600,000 proteins.
people in the UK. This can lead to a reddening
Yet, worryingly, awareness The risk of nuclear cataracts of the conjunctiva,
of blindness from smoking, Double or quit 2-3 (those that form in the excessive tearing and
amongst Britains 10 million Smokers are three times more centre nucleus of the general discomfort.
smokers, is low (9.7%) likely to suer AMD than lens) is 2.9 times greater in
compared to lung cancer non-smokers and are likely smokers. Smoking cigarettes has also
(92.2%) and heart disease to suer from the condition been found to increase the
(87.7%).1 earlier than non-smokers. Sore, gritty eyes 4 - 5 risk of dry eye syndrome
Smoking increases your risk and can exacerbate existing
Toxic chemicals in tobacco The average age for a non- of thyroid eye disease sore, eye conditions.
smoke can damage the smoker to develop AMD is gritty eyes by up to eight
delicate surface and the 74.4 years of age. This is ve times. Colour vision
internal structure of the eye. years later than smokers Smokers who consume
whose average age is Thyroid eye disease aects more than 20 cigarettes
This can lead to an increased 69.2 years. more than 400,000 people per day may suer colour
risk of many eye conditions in the UK. vision defects.6
including age-related Smokers are also likely to
macular degeneration experience a more rapid The conjunctiva the clear Nicotine poisoning can
(AMD), nuclear cataracts; progression of AMD membrane that covers the make it dicult to clearly
thyroid eye disease; dry eye and poorer treatment sclera (the white part of the distinguish colours with a
and poor colour vision. outcomes. eye) and lines the inside of red or green hue.