Skip to main content
Home » What's New » How Smoking Impacts Vision

How Smoking Impacts Vision

smoking-harms-eyes_640x350

Smoking harms nearly every system in your body — including your eyes. 

Though we are all aware of the health effects associated with smoking, such as lung cancer, heart disease, and bad teeth, few know about the negative impact it can have on our vision. 

Smoking and Eye Disease 

Smoking, especially 20 cigarettes or more daily over a long period of time, can adversely impact your vision. Cigarette smoke is made up of compounds that can damage health and have been shown to cause cerebral lesions which affect the area of the brain that processes vision.

More specifically, tobacco addiction increases the risk of developing vision-robbing diseases such as macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy. Moreover, smoke is an irritant that can cause or exacerbate dry eye syndrome. Below we'll delve a little further into each of these conditions. 

Age-Related Macular Degeneration 

Smokers run a high risk of developing AMD, a condition that severely impairs central vision, making it difficult or impossible to read, drive, recognize faces and colors, and leads to permanent vision loss in those aged 65 or older. Fortunately, the risk can be dramatically diminished by putting an end to tobacco smoking — even if later in life. 

Cataracts

Heavy smokers double their risk of developing cataracts, the leading cause of blindness. Cataracts are characterized by clouded, blurred or double vision, photophobia, and reduced night vision. However, cataract surgery is common and replaces the clouded lens with an artificial intraocular lens. 

Uveitis

Uveitis, the inflammation of the eye's central layer, is an ocular disease that can lead to blindness. This condition damages important structures of the eye, notably the iris and retina, and can lead to cataracts, glaucoma and retinal detachment. Smokers have a 2.2 times higher risk of developing uveitis than non-smokers. 

Diabetic Retinopathy

Smoking raises one's risk of developing diabetes by up to 40 percent thereby increasing the risk of retinopathy as well. Diabetes damages the blood vessels in the retina, causing them to leak blood into the eye, which — in severe cases — can deprive the retina of oxygen and result in blindness.

Dry Eyes

Dry eye syndrome is a common eye condition characterized by insufficient tears to keep your eye lubricated, or the tears are not composed of the correct balance of water, lipids, and mucous to maintain proper lubrication. Common symptoms include red, itchy, and gritty eyes.

Heavy smokers, and those exposed to secondhand smoke, not only double their risk of developing dry eye but also exacerbate an existing condition, especially among the contact lens wearers.

Secondhand Smoke and Eye Disease 

Secondhand smoke— which includes the smoke that emanates from the end of a cigarette as well as the smoke exhaled— is nearly as harmful to health and vision. Second-hand smoke places others' eyesight in danger, particularly in young children and infants. Furthermore, studies indicate that women who smoke during pregnancy put the newborn baby at risk of being born with eye disease or visual impairment that could affect his or her ability to learn.

Stop Smoking to Save Your Vision

The good news is that giving up smoking can have an immediate effect on your health — and it’s never too late to quit! Once the habit is broken, your body will begin to repair itself to prevent vision loss. It can be challenging to quit, as it requires dedication, support, and advanced planning. Dr. Jeffrey Yonker and the rest of the staff at TSO Cedar Park in Cedar Park care about your health and will be happy to provide any assistance or resources to help you quit smoking and improve your eye health. Keep in mind that if you smoke, quitting smoking is the most important step you can take to protect your health and vision.

Welcome to Texas State Optical Cedar Park

 
Appointment Form

Call 512-233-6204 ▸

Take Me There

Welcome to Texas State Optical Cedar Park

Our Location

401 West Whitestone Boulevard, Bldg B200
Cedar Park, TX 78613

Office Details

401 West Whitestone Boulevard, Bldg B200
Cedar Park, TX 78613
  • 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Closed
  • Closed

Saturday hours available by appointment only.

We Accept:

  • visa
  • mastercard
  • discover
  • cash
  • carecredit

Click insurance to see medical & visit plans we accept.

Our Reviews

The staff are very courteous and helpful, and the Dr. very thorough and helpful.
1 week ago
5
- Maria M.
eye doctor's office
This was my son's first ever eye exam. The staff (front desk and beyond) treated him with so much care and attention. They were awesome with him and put him at ease throughout the visit. Dr. Yonker was kind and thorough and explained everything to my son so that he felt important and involved. We will definitely come back.
3 weeks ago
5
- Lori W.
eye doctor's office
All the staff were very helpful with eyewear selection. Very satisfied with everything, especially updates to prescription recommendations by Dr. Yonker.
4 weeks ago
5
- Marcia T.
eye doctor's office
The office is beautiful, warm, and inviting; the staff all really do enjoy working with people, and Doctor Jeffrey is wise beyond his years. I'm very impressed with the latest technology they maintain -- makes eye exams much more comfortable and diagnoses more accurate. HUGE selection of eye-wear, too!
4 weeks ago
5
- Kim K.
eye doctor's office
I like this location and the optometrist is really good. Staff is friendly and handle insurance pretty well.
1 month ago
5
- Jaime C.
eye doctor's office
I always have an excellent experience when it’s time for an appointment. Dr.Yonkers is extremely thorough and knowledgeable. While all the staff are kind and welcoming I’ve had Autumn assist me MANY times. She is outstanding and goes above and beyond to make sure you get the best deal and even lends an opinion on frames! Would highly recommend.
1 month ago
5
- Anna A.
eye doctor's office
Very helpful and professional. I will be going to this location for as long as they have it open.
1 month ago
5
- Greg C.
eye doctor's office